A Forgiving Heart
“For if you forgive others for their transgressions, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions.”Matthew 6:14-15
God forgave us by sacrificing his own Son on the cross for our sins, and he expects us to have a forgiving heart. The love God puts in our hearts is an unconditional agape love, and how can it be unconditional without forgiveness? If we truly have God’s love in our hearts, we will have unconditional love.
For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. (Ephesians 6:12) We always show a heart of forgiveness because our struggle is not against flesh and blood- – it’s against Satan and his demons. People that don’t know Christ are subject to Satan’s lies, and they can become a pawn under Satan’s control.
Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. (Ephesians 4:32) How can we reflect Christ to people without having a forgiving heart? Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” (Luke 23:34) Jesus asked the Father to forgive the Roman soldiers who are crucifying him because he wanted these soldiers to know the Truth. When Jesus died it became dark, the rocks split, and graves opened. When the centurion and those with him who were guarding Jesus saw the earthquake and all that had happened, they were terrified, and exclaimed, “Surely he was the Son of God!” (Matthew 27:54) Jesus showed forgiveness to the soldiers which they would remember, but what if Jesus didn’t forgive but showed unforgiveness and anger to the centurions? Jesus showed he was the Son of God by his loving attitude on the cross with a forgiving heart to his last breath. It is the same for us. A forgiving heart is a powerful witness for Christ, and it is truly a time to reveal that we have the heart of Jesus.
Unforgiveness is toxic to our spiritual life and to our physical health. The greater the intensity of our unforgiveness, the more toxic it becomes. We are created in the image of God and God’s love is centered on forgiveness. Therefore, we are created to be filled with God’s love and forgiveness.
Today, fight the spiritual war and not people. Seek to point people to Christ with a forgiving heart. Remember showing forgiveness shows you stand strong with the Lord.
Prayer: Lord, fill my heart with your love because love drives out unforgiveness. Guide me in the Spirit to reflect your unconditional love revealing forgiveness. In Jesus name, Amen