Forgive Others from the Heart
This is Day 19 of my 40 day Lenten Blog.
"If you forgive others their transgressions, your heavenly Father will forgive you." Matthew 6:14.
I know I don't deserve forgiveness for the many sins I have committed. Not only do I not deserve it from God, but I don't deserve forgiveness from the many people that I have wronged. Perhaps that is why I generally try to be understanding when other people mess up. Perhaps that is why I normally don't have a hard time forgiving others their transgressions. Or do I?
You see, intellectually I am forgiving. In my mind I have forgiven. But sometimes, the emotions of the wrong done me bubble back up. Sometimes I realize, even though I thought I had forgiven, I really haven't.
So how do I make myself forgive? How do I actually, truly forgive, from my heart? The heart can be led in one of two ways--either by the Holy Spirit, or without Him. If it is led without the Holy Spirit it will be self absorbed. Thus, it is impossible to truly forgive a wrong without the power of the Holy Spirit, because it is completely against my fallen selfish nature to forgive. Only by turning to the love and mercy of Christ through the power of His Spirit can my heart change to one of true selflessness. Sometimes the Holy Spirit graciously does this without me even asking. But most of the time, if I want to change my heart, I need to pray that He will change it.
In other words, I can only truly forgive from the heart, when I truly desire to do so. Then the Holy Spirit will help me change my cold heart to a warm forgiving one.
Today's prayer: Lord, help me to forgive. Help me to be merciful. Help me to love as Christ loves me. Help me to see others as Christ sees them. Help me to forgive others as Christ forgives us all.
R.C. VanLandingham lives in Florida with his wife and kids.He is the author of several books including the Christian fantasy books Peter Puckett & The Amulet of Eternity, Peter Puckett & the Enchanted Chalice, and Magdalene Hope & the Elves of Evermore.