Last Sunday, I listened to an intriguing sermon by Dr. Stewart Sims on the scary and often times ignored concept of forgiveness. I walked away feeling a bit intimated yet challenged. Forgiveness is not really my forte as I am filled with a ridiculous amount of selfishness and my heart is entirely too self-centered but I serve a Lord who loves me far too much to leave me in such a lifeless place. Choosing bitterness over forgiveness equals death. Dr. Sims made the clear connection between forgiveness and life. I choose life. I choose to die to my selfish ways, to cling to the cross where love and forgiveness flow freely, and to be merciful so that I may be shown the mercy I so desperately need.
“Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.” Matthew 5:7
Forgiveness is a command. The amount of forgiveness God has shown my sinful heart at the foot of the cross is far more than any amount of forgiveness He will ask me to bestow on others. Thank you, Dr. Sims, for that reality check.
“If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you refuse to give others, your Father will not forgive your sins.” Matthew 6:14-15 NLT