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The Necessity of Forgiveness 20: Our Responsibility as Christians

The Necessity of Forgiveness Day 20 – Our Responsibility as Christians

Maybe you’ve followed along in this series because the issue of forgiving is something you’re having great difficulty with. If you’re a Christ follower, forgiveness is a responsibility, not a choice. And for some, that truth may hit in an unfavorable way. 

We know the “why” of this—because of the forgiveness we’ve received from Christ Jesus—but oftentimes, for some reason, we think there might be some loophole for our situation, yet that’s simply untrue. Let’s think for a moment about a church where forgiveness and grace are not practiced or embraced. It would go without saying that a church functioning like that would eventually become toxic and would disband. 

We’ve been clearly taught from Scripture that we must forgive without exception. Here are a few passages that stand out:

“For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” (Matthew 6:14,15, ESV)

“And whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.” (Mark 11:25, ESV)

“Bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.” (Colossians 3:13, ESV)

When we consider these passages, we find that our refusal to forgive others results in a broken relationship with the Lord. The verse about our sins not being forgiven by Him if we refuse to forgive others does not mean we lose our salvation. Our salvation can’t be lost by our refusal to forgive (or anything else) but is dependent only on the finished work of Jesus blood shed on the cross. Nothing else could satisfy God’s requirement but Jesus’ blood. However, our refusal to forgive is a serious offense and greatly affects our prayer life and our connection to Christ. 

As we consider the consequences of refusing to forgive, our hearts should desire to be obedient so that we can live abundantly in Christ. Our prayers will be heard and have great power when we come to Him with clean hearts, not with hearts holding onto grudges and bitter feelings.
If you’re stuck in this wearying trap today, why not pray for help in letting it go? Why not decide this very day that it’s simply not worth the breach in your relationship with Christ? Why not empower your prayer life by wiping the slate clean? It’s not okay to stay stuck in this, but as believers we must forgive. Our prayer is that you would be able to come to terms with this and do what the Spirit leads you to do. Today.

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