If you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.
But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will you Father forgive your trespasses.
Mathew 6:14, 15
I think alot of us struggle with forgiveness. We somehow want people to DESERVE to be forgiven. We want to know people will NOT do it again and won't hurt us again. We want to hold grudges and be angry, because we are RIGHT!
Forgiveness is about US not them. Forgiving frees you from the anger and hate that dwell in holding a grudge. Those are not fruits of the Spirit, to be sure.
This week I had a hard time with Forgiveness. My usually wonderful, yet human, husband had been taking change from a jar of mine. He had missed the memo that this money had come from my grandmother. She was a woman of little money and yet she saved all the coins of all the grandkids birth years. So I shared 1974 with my cousin Bill and she would sort those coins from her change and put them away for us. She touched each coin with her tiny line-covered hands. She likely had times where the end of the month came before the end of the money and she could have taken a few bucks from any of us without our knowledge, but didn't and still she saved.
I was so angry at DH when he I found the jar, I had intended to use it as a symbol of her helping me to buy our home. He was sure he didn't know what it was when he took it and I believe that, but then I was SO mad that he hadn't listened to me tell him (8 years ago) and that stung even more. I left the house so angry I couldnt' breath. I took the lighter jar and sat in a parking lot and sobbed over that money. I spent most of the week angry about it and thinking how Grandma never had nearly what we had and yet DH used her money for things (pop etc..) she probably gave up for me to have this money.
I became convicted of my feelings a few days ago when I realized that the EMOTION my grandma put in there was important and she too had an imperfect husband (i never met him) and she was also a wonderful wife by all acounts. The biblical description of a good wife/woman was read at her funeral, even. I never heard her say a bad word about another human, even some who had scarred her deeply. My language slips more in a day than hers did in a lifetime. She would NOT want me angry at my husband. She would want me to forgive him for MY sake and HIS. Even more so, God would want me to forgive this too! I am still sad and have some moments, but I am working on forgiveness.
Is there someone you should forgive for YOUR sake today?
What if HE didn't forgive us when we misused his belongings?