Forgive: To Grant Relief From Payment Of


Do not withhold your mercy from me, LORD;
 may your love and faithfulness always protect me.
(Psalm 40:11 NIV)

As I walk through the Lord’s prayer, I must be ever mindful that I am addressing “Our Father.” To ask our Father to forgive my shortcomings, mistakes, failures and wrongdoings can feel shameful, but once I confess, He always comforts, forgives, corrects and sets me on the straight path again. 

This request seems to have a qualifier that often throws me for a loop, because if God forgives in the same manner I forgive, I am in trouble.

Other versions say, “forgive us our sins, for we have forgiven those who sinned against us.” Still difficult to get a grip on this concept, as I think it should say: “Since I [God] have forgiven you, go and do likewise.” I am sure there have been many a theological debate as to what this sentence means, but at face value it is enough that God forgives me and does not make me pay for my sin.

Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! Jesus paid the debt. God isn’t in heaven saying, “She’s going to pay for this.” He rips up my ledger and I am free. This stunning truth is the only real motivation for me to do likewise for others. 

Another definition of forgive says “to give up resentment of” and this is where I need to pray for God to enable me to release those who have hurt or offended me. This is where the previous request for daily bread takes on deeper spiritual meaning. Unless God had provided Jesus as the Bread of Sacrifice for our sin, no one could truly forgive another. We’d all be meting out our own vengeance.

God is merciful and just. I prefer His mercy in my own life, so why do I so often demand justice? When it comes to those who offend me, I want them to pay for the harm done, rather than have me forgive them.

What struggles do you face with forgiveness?

4 thoughts on “Forgive: To Grant Relief From Payment Of

  1. I would love to say that it is always instant. I always do give it to Him, because i don't want anything to stand between us, but then the thoughts come back again… Sometimes, forgiveness is continually giving it back to Him. And I've also found, that when you pray for those involved, God puts His love in you for them… Not easy to feel that love and unforgiveness at the same time. God doesn't say we have to forget in order to forgive, just let it go to His hands in forgiveness. He takes care of wiping away the sorrow…

  2. Pam- I so appreciate this struggle of giving it back to Him…It is comforting to know that he is taking care of the sorrow and He alone can pour His love into our wounded hearts. Thanks for the encouraging thoughts!

  3. Here's what I want to remember, and probably what I struggle with the most (understanding God's grace to me)"Unless God had provided Jesus as the Bread of Sacrifice for our sin, no one could truly forgive another."He DID provide Jesus as the bread of sacrifice for my sins–once and for all. Hallelujah!

  4. Jody- Understanding God's grace is a something that I find difficult experientially…I get it in my head, but don't always want it for myself or others…tonight I was judging other people and my husband said, I wonder what others think of us…ouch…we ALL need grace. Thanks be to God, we have it through Jesus!

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