16 Mar He Chose to Teach Forgiveness (Forty Days with Jesus – Day 8, Feb 25th)
Read Matthew 6:5-15
Thought for the Day: Forgiveness leads to forgiveness!
It has often been said that ‘winning leads to winning’. In sports, the most successful programs are able to maintain winning streaks and dynasties because they build the right culture. Imagine being a high school athlete: would you prefer to go to a school with a culture of winning or a culture of mediocrity? The answer to this question is one of the tenets of successful college recruitment. But, joining a winning program is not enough. Once young players are part of the team, it is the responsibility of the coach to teach them how to buy in and learn how to be successful contributors in a winning culture.
Jesus teaches that the only way to win is to forgive. Jesus unambiguously teaches us that if we want to be forgiven, we must practice forgiveness. As He concluded the Lord’s Prayer, Jesus made it clear that, “If you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” Jesus is not vague about His expectation for us. Put simply, forgiveness leads to forgiveness!
Oftentimes, it is easy to believe we are living righteously while we are actually holding onto an unwillingness to practice forgiveness. We may ask ourselves why we are feeling so frustrated and unfulfilled. At these times, let’s realize that it is likely the Holy Spirit is nudging us to see that we are not following Christ’s teaching. Jesus chose to teach forgiveness for a reason and we are invited to be part of His culture of forgiveness!
Reflect & Pray – Am I holding back and unwilling to practice forgiveness to all who I feel wronged by? Am I willing to admit that my unforgiveness is my problem and I simply need to ask God to help? God, please allow Your Holy Spirit to show me the areas in my life where I am not yet practicing forgiveness!
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