We have the freedom to forgive

And forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors! Matthew 6:12

This biblical verse instantaneously leads us into a kind of speech about how we are obliged to forgive everyone who has sinned against us. You already know this one: 7 times 77 and the like… No doubt, it is necessary to hear such things from time to time because each of us has at least once “held someone in debt”. Many have done this to many people for a long time.
But some of us, more than anybody else, hold in debt ourselves. I am writing the following lines to them.

When I was saved, my biggest problem was to forgive myself, that is, to receive God’s forgiveness. I didn’t believe that God could get over all my drinking, cursing, insults, lies, just filth of every possible kind. The Lord had a strange solution to my problem.

One day, at the very beginning of my journey, in my pastor’s apartment, I ran into a guy tattooed from head to toe. Really tough guy… You know, the one with no neck, just a head and shoulders fused into one. Biceps like barrels. X-ray stare. We met formally, and he was saying something, and I couldn’t hear any of it because everything inside me was screaming to get out and run.

And then, through all that internal screaming, his voice broke through to me and I heard him say that God forgave his sins through Christ, that he is a new man and that he no longer wishes harm to anyone. And then he began quoting Paul’s “Hymn of Love”. He said it was God’s love that gave him a new chance. I thought, “Dude, if God forgave you, I guess He’ll forgive me too!” And that’s how my healing began, I was able to start receiving God’s forgiveness and forgiving myself.

I have not forgotten who I was. I try to read the Bible once a year and every year and Scripture reminds me at least twice a year that I deserve to die, in Exodus 21:17 and Leviticus 20:9. But I know that my debt has been paid for, that the Father offered his Son as a sacrifice for me and that I have the freedom to receive and give love, to believe and to hope. I have the freedom to forgive. I don’t want holding a debt of others or myself to keep me trapped, away from the blessings Dad has for me. Therefore, if you are just about to start praying, leave your “debts notebook” behind.

Owe nothing to anyone, except to love one another. For whoever loves another has fulfilled the Law. (Romans 13:8)

Posted in devotionals.