September 9 Unconditional Forgiveness

Scripture reading: Matthew 6:1–15

Key verse: Matthew 6:14

If you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.

In The Weight of Glory, C. S. Lewis writes,

To forgive the incessant provocations of daily life—to keep on forgiving the bossy mother-in-law, the bullying husband, the nagging wife, the selfish daughter, the deceitful son—how can we do it?

Only, I think, by remembering where we stand, by meaning our words when we say in our prayers each night “Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those that trespass against us.” We are offered forgiveness on no other terms. To refuse it is to refuse God’s mercy for ourselves. There is no hint of exceptions and God means what He says.

Failing to forgive someone who offends you doesn’t mean that you lose your own salvation, but your refusal to forgive discolors your experience of His grace. By not weeding out the roots of bitterness as they spring up, you will soon be controlled by the full-blown fruits of unforgiveness.

Have you ever seen a kudzu vine? One little tendril that takes root grows at an astonishing pace. If left to grow unchecked, the vines engulf trees and choke them off from the sunlight. Efforts to clean up the vines must be absolutely thorough because the tiniest piece of root left in the ground will start the process all over again.

Don’t let the smallest grudge or insult have room to grow. Take it to the Lord immediately.

Father, I don’t want to give any grudge or insult space to grow in my life. Teach me how to forgive others unconditionally.[1]

[1] Stanley, C. F. (2000). Into His presence (p. 264). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

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