The Importance of Forgiving

And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.  But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses.

Mark 11:25-26

This passage gives us an important lesson in forgiveness.  When we are praying, we are not often thinking of forgiving others.  We are usually concentrating on our own needs and the needs of those we are praying for.  That jerk that wronged us is usually the farthest person from our minds.  But that jerk who wronged us just might be standing between us and the answer to our prayers.

We need to forgive others.  And, looking at the verse, we need to forgive them automatically.  The passage doesn’t say anything about us forgiving people if (and only if) they ask for our forgiveness, kiss our toes and do three weeks of penance.  It simply tells us that if we “have ought against any…”  we are to “forgive.”  Period.  It sounds simple, but living it is a little more difficult.

None of us are naturally forgiving people.  We have been wronged, we don’t want to forgive.  We want revenge.  We want the person who wronged us to pay for it, or at the very least, feel bad about it.  But we are told to forgive.

This is a scary verse: “But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses.”  I think that, many times, our prayers go unanswered because there is bitterness and secret hatred in our hearts.  Our unforgiving spirit can hinder our prayers.  That’s something for us to think about the next time we pray while harbouring unforgiveness in our hearts.

Forgive those that have wronged us; then ask for our own forgiveness – that is the way the Lord would have it done.

2 responses to this post.

  1. So many times I think I have forgiven someone, but find I might need to again and again and again. As many times as it takes until I no longer find myself harboring unforgiveness. And have to ask Him to help me forgive too, and to forgive me! God bless you, Ben, for sharing from His word about forgiveness. It really important!!


    • Forgiveness is sometimes tricky. We can consciously forgive someone, but still have an unforgiving spirit pop up every now and then. But it is important and it is something that we can get help from Him for.


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