(Ryan Johnson) OK, before you label me a hypocrite or a blasphemer, let me go ahead and spell out the meaning of my title. Over the years I have heard many different individuals tell me how they are unable to forgive simply because they did not have the desire or the ability to forget what was done or said to them. Often it is the case when dealing with forgiveness that the hang up people have is the concept of forgetting. So, if you will give me the time and if you will read through this with a open heart, I want to show you that God doesn’t require you to forget. Our Father doesn’t expect you to forget when it comes to forgiveness because He doesn’t forget either!
In Matthew 6 we read where Jesus instructs the Disciples on how to pray (often referred to as The Lord’s Prayer). What is interesting the the next two verses that follow immediately after this model prayer. ”For if you forgive others for their transgressions, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions.” – (Matthew 6:14-15) Did you just read what I read? Part of our forgiveness is also aligned with our willingness to forgive others and if we are not willing to forgive others, then our Father will not forgive. Between you and me, that’s one of the most profound and difficult statements that The Word of God makes. Personally, I believe that it’s so profound that many people will leave this earth with unforgiveness in the depths of their hearts and it will cost them more than they may realize. Do we understand the fact that this statement is coming directly from Jesus Christ. You know, those red letter words! But, let’s be real here, is God really expecting us to forgive others for the harmful things that others did to us or said about us. Is forgiveness really that big of a deal? And if it is, why would God expect us to forgive others when we aren’t able to forget what has happened? CONTINUE