January 14 | Matthew 6:12
“and forgive us our debts as we also have forgiven our debtors.” (Matthew 6:12)
Hanging on the cross while his enemies mocked him, Jesus taught us his greatest lesson. He forgave everyone who did this to him. In the midst of his anguish and suffering Jesus freed his enemies from his judgment on them.
Forgiving others is the hardest thing you’ll do. They’ve wronged you, offended you, and not even batted an eyelash. But the Bible teaches us to forgive others, to wait for the vengeance of God upon them. And that day will come.
Forgiveness follows the practice of our Lord and Master. Some of Jesus’ teachings are easier than others. But forgiving our enemies and letting their offense slide seems wrong to us. It goes against our former nature.
Every time you forgive your offender, you live like the new creature Jesus created you to be. And since it’s so hard, praying about it brings our desire to be like Jesus into reality. We forgive others because Jesus commands it. He’ll deal with them in his judgment.
Will you feel better after you forgive others? Sometimes. But much of Jesus’ teaching isn’t meant for us to feel better. It’s meant to please him. It assures that you will live at peace as much as it is possible for you.
Action Step: Is there someone who has offended you? Forgive them and let them know it. Take their offense to God in prayer. Ask the Lord for the strength to forgive your enemies. You can only pray for your enemies if you have forgiven them.
Jesus, I struggle with the strength to forgive others for what they’ve done to me. But nothing they’ve done is worse than what your enemies did to you. Give me your strength today to forgive those who have offended me.