Let Me Off the Hook
For many of us, it is hard to both ask for and offer forgiveness. Asking forgiveness requires us to admit we were wrong, and most of us have a hard time with that. What about when someone has slighted us? We tend not to want to let them off the hook.
The most important thing Jesus teaches us about forgiveness is it is not optional. God does not withhold his mercy from us and we are to treat others the same way.
Our Father in heaven, may your name be kept holy. May your Kingdom come soon. May your will be done on earth, as it is in heaven. Give us today the food we need, and forgive us our sins, as we have forgiven those who sin against us. And don’t let us yield to temptation, but rescue us from the evil one (Matthew 6:9-13, NLT).
Jesus teaches that the measure of forgiveness we use towards others corresponds to the measure of forgiveness we receive from the Father (Matthew 6:14-15). That's a good motivator to forgive those who have wronged us, even if they have done something horrible. The reason: Our sin is horrible to God. Sin is a smack in the face of a righteous God and He actively forgives us. We must go and love likewise, even when it stings.
Today's culture is all about holding grudges, payback and revenge. We love to blame others for our misery or even our actions. Following Jesus is counter-cultural. There should be a difference in the way we live, love and treat others. This means choosing to forgive, no matter how difficult. Peace and freedom will follow, and God will celebrate. Why? Because forgiving others shows our hearts are becoming more like His.
It's time to let your spouse, friend, parent and boss off the hook. Do it today.