“And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.” Matthew 6:12
Have you ever wondered what life would feel like without grace? What if we got down on our knees and asked for God’s forgiveness, and He said, “Nope.” I have been thinking about that this week. I grew up in a church environment. But I remember thinking that there were times when God was mad at us. I remember thinking that if I made God angry and then died, I would spend eternity in hell. Salvation was a come-and-go phenomenon. That is entirely inaccurate. I am not saying that my church taught that, but I remember thinking it. That thought was prevalent in my mind well into adulthood. If I am being honest, it still pops up from time to time.
The closest comparison I could come up with is if you asked someone you care about to forgive you for something, and they said “No.” What do you do? What if a relationship essentially ended with just that, unforgiveness?
I think people, in general, worry too much about what other people think. However, there are times when that is appropriate. If I have been rude, I should apologize. If I have made someone feel like I did not care about them, I apologize. There are times that God has given me a nudge to point out that I need to address my behavior. I also think there are times when a bad interaction with another person can cloud a relationship. However, what if the withholding of forgiveness seems malicious? What if someone sees an opportunity to inflict a wound? What do I do?
I have no good answer for this. But it has me feeling incredibly grateful for the grace given to me—unmerited favor. I deserve to have no relationship with God. The bible says we have all sinned and fallen short of His glory. But simply asking Jesus to bridge that divide repairs the relationship. If we believe that Jesus is the son of God and that He died on a cross and returned to life – if we accept Jesus as our Savior, we will not be turned away.
But in Matthew 6:12, we are told that we will be forgiven “as” we forgive. In the amplified version, it adds that we are to let go of the wrong and the resentment. That makes it more challenging. But it does paint a more accurate picture of the complete whitewashing that faith in Jesus provides.
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