“For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you” (Matthew 6:14 NKJV).
Right after Jesus taught His disciples “how” to pray (not what to pray), He reminded them of the things they should “do” in order to please God. The very first thing He said to them was, “forgive others so our Father will forgive us.”
There are so many people walking around with unforgiveness in their hearts that it changes their attitudes and even their facial expressions. We have all seen these people. They are envious and jealous. They seldom smile because they think frowning and appearing to be mad makes them holier than others. They are far more likely to criticize others than to pray for them. They always “see” the shortcomings of others, but never acknowledge their own. They think because of where they live or whose religion they bought into makes them superior to other people. And then they think–they are pleasing God and the rest of us are–“simple Christians.”
When the “joy of the Lord” rises up in us, we should be able to smile and laugh as well as pray and forgive others for their shortcomings and be thankful that God does not hold our shortcomings against us.
When the “joy of the Lord” rises up in us, we should be able to speak a Word of Life, enjoining others to please God and to draw them into a knowledge of Christ with loving-kindness.
But then again–The Word tells us that God will use the foolish things to confound the wise (those that are wise in their own sight). We should be careful about the things we say with regards to others so that we will not stand in the position of being judged–more harshly–by God than the judgment we use against others.
We should make every effort to seek God first–in all things–before we open our mouths or allow our fingers to hit the keyboard of a computer (or typewriter) so that what we say or write, brings glory and honor to Him through us. We will never win people to Christ with an unforgiving heart, a harsh tongue, or unrelenting fingers that constantly accuse rather than praise or encourage.
Father, in the name of Jesus, help us to be more like You every day. Help us to open our spiritual ears and hear what You say. Guard our tongues and allow us to only speak what You would have us to say. Tangle our fingers until we are only to type what You would have us to type–with love in every letter–drawing others closer to You and in the knowledge of Jesus Christ. Change our attitudes so our hearts sing with praises and our faces shine with the acknowledgement that we know who You are and there is always a smile for others. These things we thank You for in Jesus’ name, Amen!
We are Forgiven when we forgive! Hallelujah!