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God Requires Us to Forgive (2 of 2)
Proverbs 25:21-22; Matthew 5:44; Romans 12:14
Forgiveness Requires Forgiveness
God does not require any works or payment for His mercy, but He does require us to show His mercy to others. When someone goes into financial bankruptcy, their assets are surrendered. Anything owed to the one seeking debt relief rightly belongs to their creditors. A bankruptcy judge would never allow someone to keep funds while declaring they can't afford to pay their debts. Jesus is using this to illustration to help His disciples understand God's mercy. How can I plead for mercy and then declare those indebted to me as guilty?
Jesus recognized this problem and taught it often. Twice in Matthew Jesus preached the absolute necessity of us taking responsibility of forgiving others. If we think about it, it is for my benefit. I can look at my own marriage and see how my own selfishness has created many unnecessary struggles over the years. Even today, selfish resentment creeps in and I have to deal with it as soon as it gets bad enough to be recognized. Usually I don't know I am getting bitter until the symptoms start to appear. Unforgiveness is based solely on pride and selfishness. I believe that I have a right to be happy. If someone doesn't do what I like, I get angry. I plant my seeds of anger deep in my soul and bitterness begins to sprout and take root.
My wife can do 100 things right, but I will only noticed the 1 thing wrong. What she does right is expected because my flesh centers around me, and the flesh believes everyone should make me happy. My selfish human nature will also gladly sacrifice 100 good things in order to focus on the 1 thing I don't like. Anger and bitterness blinds me to the good. Or as Jeremiah 17 tells us, a man is cursed when he takes his trust from the Lord and puts it in flesh. Flesh will fail him - always.
When we look at people to fulfill us, we are truly cursed be ...
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