Forgive us our debts and we forgive our debtors Matthew 6:12 ESV
I like the idea that if I am merciful to people; I can count on God forgiving my sins. But we can’t just close our eyes and say, “God I forgive everyone.” God wants us to forgive actual hurtful things people have done. Several years ago I worked for a man who was well liked in our community though he always paid his bills late. But one year after I had worked for Bob several times without getting paid I began to get upset. Thanksgiving came and went with no check. Then Christmas and New Years passed with the same result. I was angry. Bob had promised payment for my hard work but it never came. Then one day as I was praying God spoke to me. “Pete; you’ve got to let this go.”Oh I hated doing that! I had trusted Bob and worse yet most people thought he was a great guy!! But I knew God was right. At first I told God I would forgive and even threw the bill away. But whenever I passed Bob at the store I would remember his bill. Then God spoke to me again and asked; “Are you as happy to see Bob as I am to see you after your sins have been forgiven?” I bowed my head in shame. I saw that forgiving meant treating Bob, like Jesus treated me. Stepping away from demanding my money set me free to really forgive. Giving mercy means building a bridge of forgiveness for others to cross back to you, just as God built a bridge at Calvary for everyone. He freely forgives! What about you? I am ending today’s devotion with some of my favorite songs about mercy. Have a wonderful and merciful day!