I’d like us to meditate on our scripture for today, focusing on the last verse, Matt 18:35.
“So also my heavenly Father will do to every one of you, if you do not forgive your brother from your heart.”
If Jesus specifically mentions this concept in the scripture we just read, it means by extension, that it is possible to have another kind of “forgiveness”, that is not acceptable to God.
What is the difference?
Forgiving from The Heart
What does it really mean to “Forgive from your heart”?
As Jesus would have us know, there is the forgiveness that comes from the heart.
This is the forgiveness that is for the benefit of you, the offended person; the debt that you choose to write off before God. It is purely a response to the love of God that commands you to forgive.
Forgiveness from the heart is not a response to apology or repentance. It is an unconditional gift that flows from the heart of God through you, to release those that have offended you, by a choice that you make. It is a transaction between you and God.
I Forgive You
On the other hand, there is the other kind of “forgiveness” which is much easier for a lot of us to relate to – This type of forgiveness is the forgiveness that is verbal. It is essentially for the benefit of the offender.
It is conditional upon the offending person admitting their offence and taking steps to remedy the wrong. You respond to this by saying to them: “I forgive you”.
It is a response to the repentance of the offender, and an acceptance of the remorse shown, or the apology tendered by the offender, to the person who has been offended.
Forgiveness from the heart is unilateral. Just as loving like God is a choice, forgiveness from the heart is also a choice that you make regardless of whether or not the offender has apologised, whether or not they have admitted their fault, whether or not they have repented or even accepted responsibility for their actions. Not because they have said they are sorry, not because they have admitted their wrong…
Forgiveness from the heart is unconditional. Just like the love of God is towards us.
Here are two instances of forgiveness from the heart in action. Please read them up: Luke 23:32-34; Acts 7:54-59
A Heart That Forgives
For that person reading this who is suffering from the hurt and pain of abuse, betrayal, offence, rejection or disappointment…
God wants to heal your heart so that you can let it go…He knows your pain; he acknowledges your hurt; he feels what you feel and He wants to take that burden away from you. You don’t have to carry that any longer.
You need to remember the cross so that you can forget the offence.
Again I say to you dear friend;
For you to love like God loves, you have to forgive like God does…
Do you do that? Can you do that?
God bless and strengthen you in Jesus’ Name
Pastor Wale Ola
1. What is God saying to me in today’s message?
2. What was ministered to me in the bible verses that I read today?
3. What are the changes or adjustments I need to make in my life to align with the word of God?
4. What is my commitment to the word for today?
5. What practical steps can I take to benefit from the word I have read today?
Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal every offence that you have in your heart against anyone.
Ask Him to reveal to you, anyone that you are holding in unforgiveness.
Ask God to soften your heart so that the grace to forgive can flow from it
Forgive and then release the people that God brings to your mind.
Meditate on, and pray the words of the Song for Today: A Heart That Forgives – Kevin Levar