The Christian Has No Right Not to Forgive

Mark 11:25 is an important (yet oft-overlooked) passage as we think about forgiving those who have hurt us. We have no right to withhold forgiveness on the grounds that “they haven’t apologized yet” – Jesus declares, “Whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father who is in heaven will also forgive you your transgressions.” To be sure, true reconciliation cannot take place until there has been confession/repentance and verbal forgiveness (Luke 17:3-4). But Jesus is saying in Mark 11:25 that we must be willing and ready to forgive immediately, and in fact are to forgive them in our hearts even as we pray to God – especially given the fact that our more heinous offenses against God have been forgiven in Christ (Eph. 4:32; Matt. 18:21ff.).

And don’t forget, forgiveness of a debt means absorbing the cost yourself. In terms of relationships, to say “I forgive you” means that you promise not to bring the matter up to the person, to yourself, or to anyone else, ever again. When we forgive someone, we need to remind ourselves often that we have forgiven them, for sin indwells us and is at the door.


One response to this post.

  1. Thanks, C–I needed that…love u, Mom


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