To Forgive is More than Mere Words
When I came upon this passage in the Amplified, I was struck by two things.
1.) I am not to judge others self-righteously nor condemn others when I am guilty and unrepentant and I will not be condemned for my hypocrisy.
2.) I am to pardon (forgive) others when they are truly repent and change and I will be pardoned (forgiven) when I truly repent and change.
Repent means to change direction; to turn from what I was doing wrong. Change is to do that which is right in the sight of God. God is merciful (responsive, compassionate, tender) and desires that I am merciful too. As I do unto others it will be done unto me.
For if you forgive people their trespasses [their [a]reckless and willful sins, [b]leaving them, letting them go, and [c]giving up resentment], your heavenly Father will also forgive you.
Amplified Bible, Classic Edition
Here, I am instructed that in forgiving others I am to leave their reckless and willful sins, letting them go, and giving up the resentment. This I cannot do on my own but is possible with the help of the Holy Spirit. It is a process and a willful choice on my part to let go of the resentment. With God’s help, I can choose not to remember someone’s sin against me when I am with that person. I can honestly say that I have experienced this and it is so liberating and I know that it is a God thing. By the grace of God, I am able to be merciful to those around me. God makes it all happen and all that is required of me is to be open to His work in my life. In times like these, I stand amazed at what God has done in me.
My Prayer: Dear God, I am forever grateful for Your forgiveness of my sins. Thank You for helping me to forgive others as You have instructed me to. May this help others to see that the power to forgive comes from You. Continue to give me the desire to do Your will. Amen