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Unforgiveness

I have often struggled with Matthew 6:15:  "But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins", but I recently had an "Aha" moment and I think I've found a way of looking at it that makes a bit more since to me.  I don't know if it is doctrinally correct, but I thought I'd shoot it out as an idea anyway.  

Could it be, perhaps, that if we do not truly accept Christ's forgiveness in our own lives that we will be unable to offer forgiveness to those around us?  In the often quoted John 3:16, we are reminded that "whosoever believes in Him will not perish but have everlasting life".  Believing, truly believing, means accepting the fullness of His sacrifice for our sins - knowing that we in no way deserve His grace and yet He gives it.  Once we have grasped the wonderful reality of the forgiveness that God offers us, it seems like it should be impossible not to extend it to others.  So, maybe the core issue of unforgiveness isn't as much about forcing ourselves to offer it to others as it is about recognizing our unbelief in the area of our own forgiveness.

So, the next time I am struggling with forgiving someone...I think I'm going to stop and remember the extent of my own sinfulness and ask God to let the truth of His forgiveness for my sins sink in to my heart and soul.  I think as I reflect on the amazing truth of His forgiveness in my life, the forgiveness of others will be a natural progression.

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