Forgive Others To Be Forgiven

Let us realize that every day we live with the results of our decisions to forgive or not to forgive other people. Our desire (or lack thereof) to the challenge of forgiving either grants us a new lease on life or perpetuates emotional and spiritual paralysis. And our heavenly Father Yahweh doesn’t want that for us. It’s not part of the Savior of mankind Yahshua’s calling to “Follow Me.” In today’s teaching we are going to share with you a very important message to be really considered a genuine Christian, and that is, learn to forgive others to be forgiven also. You do want to call yourself true Christian, don’t you? Let us then help you to be a real Christian! As always, we ask the Holy Spirit of Yahweh to give us wisdom as we help impart to you the knowledge about this vital topic in your walk towards Christian life.

Yahshua the Messiah made plain the course we are to follow in what is commonly called “the Lord’s Prayer” when He said, “And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors” (Matthew 6:12)—the debts here referring to unpaid penalties for wrongdoing. Yahshua further amplified this in the following Bible verses: “For if you forgive men their trespasses (the wrongs they have committed against you), your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses” (Matthew 6:14-15). This stunning statement from the Savior brings us to a very frank spiritual reality: Once we are made aware of Yahweh’s desire and willingness to forgive us of our wrongdoing, that forgiveness is conditional and proportional to our willingness and desire to forgive others. You might be protesting, “But–but–but! That’s our human nature, but our heavenly Father Yahweh has given us a calling to be like His Son Yahshua, and not to continue as we’ve been. How then do we truly respond to the Messiah’s call of  “Follow Me” in forgiving others?

Furthermore, as we explore the matter, let’s remember: Yahshua never said following Him would be easy, but He did say it would be worth it. Let’s begin by understanding what separates Yahweh from man and what truly makes Him One we should adore and emulate. The Bible tells us Yahweh’s incredible attributes. Notice! “O Yahweh, You are so good, so ready to forgive, so full of unfailing love for all who ask for Your help” (Psalm 86:5). Yes, Yahweh is ready to forgive! This most precious attribute of true love permeates His existence. He is actually leaning forward in anticipated readiness to forgive. There’s no greater example of this readiness than the recorded utterance of our Savior Yahshua dying nailed to a wood stake at Golgotha. It’s there that Yahshua the Messiah with one of His last breaths says to those who wronged Him, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do” (Luke 23:34). It’s by those words that we not only sense the immediacy of a spirit ready to forgive, but the intimacy between what Yahshua preached (Matthew 6) and now practiced under the most trying of circumstances! Simply put, we need to fully grasp that Yahshua doesn’t ask us to do what He hasn’t done. We need to remember what’s been done for us because of what we were before Yahweh’s saving grace forgave us. Sometimes we forget where Yahshua picked us up along the road and said to us, “Follow Me.” Yahweh’s merciful forgiveness isn’t our personal property, but is to be shared with others. Therefore, what we say and do to others defines this understanding. This can’t be any more clearer.

Now the question is, how do we move beyond our hurts and pains? A true Christian must realize and embrace three great truths. What are they? First, we have been forgiven and now experience Yahweh’s continuing grace. The book of Psalms in the Bible tells us to look up and praise our personal Redeemer: “Bless Yahweh, O my soul; And forget not all His benefits: “Who forgives all your iniquities, Who heals all your diseases, Who redeems your life from destruction, Who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies” (Psalm 103:2-4), Who “has not dealt with us according to our sins, nor punished us according to our iniquities” (Psalm 103:10), and Who has removed our transgressions “as far as the east from the west” (Psalm 103:12). Second, although forgiven, we will remain imperfect even as we strive to emulate a perfect Elohim. The apostle Paul had something to say about this. He said: “For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find. For the good that I will to do, I do not do; but the evil I will not to do, that I practice” (Romans 7:18-19). The apostle here is reminding us that we all have some serious spiritual personal makeover yet to deal with in this present life. We’re not near perfect, but we must strive to be perfect. Third, because we have been forgiven, we must ourselves be forgiving to others. What we have received we must in turn share as Yahweh’s human instruments. Yes, accepting and expressing Yahweh’s sovereignty in our lives isn’t merely receiving forgiveness, but passing it on to others as well!

But you might be asking yourself: “Why is forgiving others who wronged you so difficult for you and to most people? It is because forgiveness is very costly. It costs you, not the person being forgiven. Forgiveness means that justice will not always be fulfilled. Forgiveness does not rebuild the house that has been burned down by someone carelessly playing with matches. Forgiveness does not always put a crushing broken marriage back together. Forgiveness does not restore virginity to the rape victim. But forgiveness is letting go. It’s the relaxation of your death grip on the pain you feel. Yes, it’s cutting off the price tag of what it costs you. No, it’s not easy to forgive, but consider the downside of not forgiving. First, you being a slave to past injustices. Second, allowing present emotions to daily take you hostage, thereby robbing you and loved ones of a positive future. Does this mean we are to continually allow ourselves to be subjected to harmful behavior such as verbal, physical or sexual abuse and just keep on taking it? Is that what’s required in being forgiving? No! But sometimes we run out of cheeks in “turning the other cheek.” With some people we must be forgiving without necessarily being reconciled to them right away. Forgiveness means we do not hold a grudge to other human beings. We desire that offenders repent rather than seeking vengeance. Some matters and people will simply need to be committed to Yahweh’s providential safekeeping to be reconciled to Him and restored to us in His perfect timing alone. But until then, we’re to lean forward with hearts desirous to forgive those people who wronged us. Isn’t it about time that starting now you forgive others to be forgiven also?

In conclusion, true love, wisdom and patience tell us some matters and some people need to be dealt with from afar, over a period of time, and with meaningful spiritual preparation on our part in light of Yahshua’s example. This Bible verse makes this readily plain: “Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted. Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Messiah” (Galatians 6:1-2). Remember: “And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love” (1 Corinthians 13:13). Remember that Almighty Yahweh demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Messiah died for us (Romans 5:8). Forgive others who done you wrong and let Eternal Yahweh deal with them in His coming judgement day! In the Old Testament He said: “Vengeance is Mine, and recompense, Their foot shall slip in due time; For the day of their calamity is at hand, And the things to come hasten upon them” (Deuteronomy 32:35). And again, in the New Testament He promised: “Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay, Therefore if your enemy is hungry, feed him; If he is thirsty, give him a drink; For in doing so you will heap coals of fire on his head. Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good” (Romans 12:19-21). Will you be forgiving too, and follow the example of Messiah Yahshua? May Yahweh bless you and keep you. And may Yahshua be there with you all along the way as you practice to forgive others in order to be forgiven of your own wrongdoings, or sins. We hope you’re blessed reading this. We ask and pray all these in the name of Yahshua, Amen. Halleluyah, Shalom!