Practical Disciples: Forgiveness
About Today’s Practice
If we were to have pillars of Christian living, forgiveness would be one of them. When Jesus was on the cross, He forgave the people who put Him there (Luke 23:34). When Jesus was teaching the most important fundamentals of human life and the Kingdom, He said, “Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who have sinned against us” (Matthew 6:12,14-15). The entire mission of God coming to earth through Yeshua (Jesus) was predicated on forgiveness of sins. Therefore, forgiveness should be in the DNA of every Christ-follower. This isn’t just about forgiving someone for something horrible, it’s also about cultivating a lifestyle of forgiveness for small things.
Before we get going, you’ll need these things.
Let’s read Matthew 6:9-15
“This, then, is how you should pray: ‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name,your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.’ For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.”
Take a couple minutes to spend with Jesus. Ask the following things:
1. Who do I need to forgive so that I can grow closer to You?
2. What is something I need to forgive myself for?
3. Do I need to forgive God for something?
Now take a minute or two and write down the answers from your prayers in your journal.
I’ll be honest, the practice of forgiveness isn’t as measurable as some of the other practices. It is, however, about cultivating a lifestyle of forgiveness. An easy way to tell if you’re growing in this practice is if you aren’t as easily upset with someone. Though, if you’re like me, you’ll still struggle with the occasional road rage (occasional may be a bit of a stretch).
When I was a Youth Pastor I did this event where the kids would write down the name or thing they needed to forgive. We took them and put them in a fire and let them go. Practicing forgiveness is different for each person because the weight of each event is different. For some people, we have to wake up and start each day by saying, “God, I forgive [person’s name] for what they did.” For some, it’s as easy as putting it in the fire.
The main practice for forgiveness is going to be writing down your thoughts in your journal. Be specific in your thoughts. Don’t just write down the person’s name but actually take the time to write out in detail what you are forgiving them for. It may be someone you didn’t even realize you had to forgive and sometimes you just need to let it go. But the main part of the practice of forgiveness is Remember below.
Before we Remember, let’s pray: “Jesus, thank you for going to the cross and forgiving us of all of our sins. Help us to forgive others as you have forgiven us. Bring to light those we need to forgive as well as those we need to seek forgiveness for. We know we aren’t perfect but we’re thankful that you are not only able to love and forgive us in spite of our imperfections but that you can empathize with us in our struggles. We love you so much Jesus! Thank you!”
Remembering what Jesus did on the Cross is important. Remembering that we have all sinned and fallen short is important. We cannot live out a lifestyle of forgiveness if we don’t remember our forgiveness. We must consistently live in a state of grace – not only for others but for ourselves as well. It’s hard to forgive others when we can’t even forgive ourselves. So let’s remember what John said:
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” -1 John 1:9
Let us walk into this week not being offended or upset by every little thing but living a lifestyle of forgiveness to show the world a better way towards redemption, love, and holiness!
SCRIPTURES TO MEDITATE ON
• 1 John 1:9
• Matthew 6:9-15
• Luke 23:34
• Ephesians 4:32
• Colossians 3:13
• Matthew 18:21-22