TODAY’S SIGNATURE VERSE ••• “And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses. But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father in heaven forgive your trespasses.” (Mark 11:25-26 NKJV)
PRAISE & PRAYER PROMPT ••• Jesus said, “And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses. But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father in heaven forgive your trespasses” (Mark 11:25-26), and arguably, these are some of the hardest words to swallow. We prefer the pretty words Jesus spoke, not the verses that tell us to forgive.
Y’all, I have a temper. I control it pretty well until I don’t. And in those moments, if anger were a tug of war contest, I would win every time. I don’t let go easily. I’m not proud of that.
We all know the sayings:
- Forgiveness is for your benefit, not the offenders.
- Freedom is found in forgiveness.
- Forgive others, not because they deserve forgiveness, but because you deserve peace.
- To err is human; to forgive is divine.
- Holding on to anger is like eating the poison and hoping the rat will die.
Blah, blah, blah. All true, but they sound like platitudes.
When I study this passage, though, it forces me to look in a mirror, and it boils down to this question:
If an unforgiving spirit breaks my fellowship with God, and I refuse to let go, what have I said is more important to me? The Father? Or my fury?
I gulped hard on that one when I considered all the times I’ve resisted the call to forgiveness and chose to dig in my heels in my stubborn anger.
And the truth is, no matter how justified my anger, it’s not worth breaking fellowship with God. He forgave me. I want to remain content in His presence. Therefore, I must forgive.
We talked about this a few weeks ago — forgiveness isn’t optional for a Christian, but we treat it like it is. I can’t help but wonder if we paused our fury for even a moment to consider the priorities — fellowship with God or holding on to unforgiveness — would we more readily let things go and forgive?
It will definitely be a new way for me to address my hot-tempered moments.
Today, as you pray, thank Jesus for His lessons on forgiveness, even when they are hard to hear. Thank Him for modeling a forgiving heart and for forgiving you. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you prioritize your relationship with God above all else, including your own way, your temper, and even when it comes to forgiving others.
SHARING ••• My Grace-Full Life is written by Denise Heidel. You are welcome to share anything I write, but please credit my writing and graphics accordingly. Visit www.MyGraceFullLife.com to read past blogs. Subscribe through my website to have My Grace-Full Life delivered to your email. You can unsubscribe at any time. Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture references are from the NKJV translation.