If you forgive others their transgressions, your heavenly Father will forgive
you. But if you do not forgive others, neither will your Father forgive your
transgressions. -Matthew 6:14-15
Why do we forgive someone? Is it because they deserve our forgiveness? Or is it because God has granted us forgiveness, and in order for us to be able to receive forgiveness from God we must be willing to forgive. It doesn't matter if the person deserves forgiveness, or even admits that they have hurt us. We have to be the ones who step up and forgive.
It really hurts to be wronged. And there are people in our lives who will never, ever be capable of admitting that they have wronged us. If we hold on to the anger and bitterness that we feel because of the hurt that they have caused us it fills all the space inside of us and begins to poison us.
The only way for God's mercy and forgiveness to flow into us is for us to allow mercy and forgiveness to flow from us to other people. If we forgive those who have wronged us, then our souls are like a hollow reed and God's mercy can flow into us at the same measure as the mercy we are willing to show.
Mercy means treating someone better than they deserve. I know there are times when I depend on being treated with mercy. If I am not willing to extend mercy to others why would God have any reason to extend mercy to me?
I have been wrestling with this for a few days now. I think I finally have a hold on it.
Lord, help me to treat those who harm me with forgiveness and mercy. Especially when they know not what they do. Help me to empty myself of bitterness and negative emotions, so that I can be open to your mercy and grace in my life. Help me to grow in humility, and love for only you.