For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins. Matthew 6:14–15 NIV
These two verses trouble me about God tying His forgiveness to ours. I’ve read numerous explanations trying to understand and balance His words with His grace. I’m not saying He owes me an explanation, just that I’d like to settle down about it.
Putting that aside, though, there’s something to be said about relating the verses to my people.
Mom and I had a difficult relationship and were estranged for years. Even so, I forgave her before she died because I wanted to set an example of forgiveness for my own children. I didn’t forgive her because God said so nor because I wanted Him to forgive me, but because I wanted my kids to forgive me.
I was sandwiched in between Mom who made lots of mistakes and my two adult children with whom I’d made plenty of my own mistakes. The pressure of wanting to be forgiven by them pushed me into the right decision even though it wasn’t for the right reason.
I’m getting my priorities straightened out – God first, not family. With that, my motives are straightening out too. I’m especially grateful since I now know I couldn’t have forgiven her without Him.
If there’s a grudge we’re holding, let’s forgive even though we don’t understand everything about forgiveness.
In This Together,
Below are my other three blog posts about forgiveness from this 100-day series:
My 100-Day Plan, Day 56: Really Forgive, part one (why forgive?)
My 100-Day Plan, Day 57: Really Forgive, part two (how to forgive)
My 100-Day Plan, Day 58: Really Forgive, part three (the beauty of forgiveness)