©Jeanne E Webster
Matt. 6:12 Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us. For if you forgive their sins, your heavenly Father will forgive you. But… if you don’t forgive others, your heavenly Father will not forgive you.
No buts, my people.
But… that man swore at my kids. I‘m going to clean his clock.
Then I do not forgive your sin of kicking your dog because it ate your new L.L. Bean slipper.
But… I lost my temper.
But… she lied in a court of law and caused me to lose my job. She’s going to pay.
Then you are not forgiven for stealing that movie from Walmart’s.
But… I had to; I told my kids I would get it for them and I didn’t have the money.
But…my wife whined at me, so I smacked her one.
Then you are not forgiven for lusting after the waitress at Denny’s.
But…I didn’t feel loved at home.
See the dynamics at play here: Sinning and Forgiveness. Excuses plus excuses = lack of accountability. The culprit in sin is SELF. The key to forgiveness is the denial of SELF. If we could see the reasons why we sin, we could better deny them a place in our lives. Where are they? They emanate from our thoughts and feelings. Better known as self-indulgences, they rear their ugly heads after our pride has slobbered over them like a kid eating a lollipop. We’re Tessie Buttons when it comes to developing our inner strength; that’s too much work or it’s going to hurt.
To overcome sin one has to develop self-control, willpower, and restraint. We must realize we are in a battle with our SELF. If we thought Joshua’s “fit the battle of Jericho” was rough, wait til we parry up to our SELF. That’s when we learn what “playing for blood” means.
Sins are action words: adultery, theft, murder, cruelty, malice, spite, disobedience, anger, hatred, boasting, and greed, among others. Are we ready to deny these in our lives? Nope…well, maybe some of them…how about one or two? Hmmm.
In some manner or extent, we are all weak. Sometimes we really can’t help “it.” We do mess up, and that is where forgiveness comes in. We confess our sins and think all is ok.
God has a “but.” BUT IF WE DO NOT FORGIVE THOSE WHO SIN AGAINST US, ALL IS FOR NAUGHT. Yep, we’re still in the dog house.
“But I can’t…” “I don’t want to…” “He doesn’t deserve it…” “She did it on purpose…”
Sorry. God is telling us to leave it alone. He’s taken care of it.
Yes, it hurts way down deep to forgive. We have clung to this dirty blanket called vengeance long enough. But… It feels like we’re going to die. That’s exactly what is happening. We have died to that decrepit monster, SELF. We have gone toe-to-toe with our worst enemy…and won!
Look at us now! We feel lighter, walk with straighter steps, our blood pressure is normal, and we may even gaze up to the heavens and smile.
“Thank you, Lord. Yes, I forgive those who did me wrong. Only by Your grace, I am who I am today!”