Forgiveness Covered Both Ways

From Pastor’s Desk:

Mark 11:25 …when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive them, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.”


In my opinion, this verse addresses the reason why many people have not reached their potential in service for the Lord, and why they are not receiving blessings they would otherwise.

Scripture says, “…if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses” (Matthew 6:15; Mark 11:26). Maybe that’s the reason why Jesus taught his disciples, and us, to pray “…forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors” (Mat. 6:12).

It is remarkable that too often we miss the fact that this verse applies to family as well as others. Families are often torn apart and remain that way for a long time simply because someone can’t, or won’t, forgive. So many good times are missed during the time of which there is no forgiveness. Church families become spiritually stagnated, and often are split apart for the same reasons, with the same results.

In the reconciliation process this principle is covered both ways. If you have anything against another, or if another has anything against you:

Matthew 5:23-24 Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee; Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift.

Mark 11:25 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.

Following the example of Steven should give us incentive to forgive others, and seek to have them forgive us. We must ask ourselves if we would we willing to pray to the Father to forgive those were stoning him and ask Him to not lay this sin to their charge (Acts 7:60). Further example would be Jesus on the cross as He cried, “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34).

Our youth at our church have been learning about subjectivity and objectivity. Needless to say, most of, if not all, the reason(s) people are not able to forgive is that they fall into, and can’t get out of, the subjective mode. That is, they can’t get outside themselves.

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