God’s forgiveness is a gift of grace.
It is not deserved, and it cannot be earned.
We know that and we love that. We are grateful for it. We rejoice in it. We sing songs about it.
But when it comes to forgiving others?
Well, that’s another story.
“They don’t deserve to be forgiven.”
“They are going to have to earn it.”
"They have to make it right."
What happened to grace?
We are so quick to receive it and so reluctant to give it.
Jesus, though, assumes that if we have been forgiven then we will forgive others.
Listen to how He taught us to pray.
Forgive us our sins, as we have forgiven those who sin against us. (Matthew 6:12, NLT)
Jesus assumes that if we are asking God to forgive us, then we have forgiven others.
Jesus assumes that, surely, we are not asking God to give us something that we are refusing to give to others.
We’re going to camp out on this concept of forgiving others for a while.
But let’s not move on too quickly.
We have to wrap our minds and our hearts around this.
An unforgiving Christian is a contradiction in terms.
Forgiven people forgive people.