Forgiveness Is Essential
Whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him and let it drop (leave it, let it go), in order that your Father Who is in heaven may also forgive you your [own] failings and shortcomings and let them drop. (MARK 11:25)
If we want to hear from God, we simply must have clean hearts when we approach Him—and one sure way to be clean before Him is to make sure that we have forgiven everyone who has hurt or offended us. Forgiveness is not easy, but it is a prerequisite for effective prayer, as we read in today’s verse.
Although Jesus’ disciples were familiar with His teachings on forgiveness, they still found it a challenge. Peter asked Him one day, “Lord, how many times may my brother sin against me and I forgive him and let it go? [As many as] up to seven times?” (Matthew 18:21). Jesus essentially said: “No. How about seventy times seven?” The number “seven” represents completion or perfection, so all Jesus was really saying was: “Don’t place any limits on forgiveness; just keep on doing it.”
When we forgive, we are being Christ like; we are acting as God acts—because He is a forgiving God. Forgiveness is manifested mercy; it is love in action—not love based on a feeling, but love based on a decision, an intentional choice to obey God. In fact, I believe forgiveness is the highest form of love. Forgiveness and love go hand in hand and expressing them honors and glorifies God, puts us in agreement with Him, and causes us to obey His Word—which helps us hear His voice.
God’s word for you today: Be sure you forgive quickly, frequently, and completely.