"As We Forgive"

Thou wilt cast all their sins into the depths of the sea (Micah 7:19)
We ought to keep no count of offences and forgivenesses, and the time never ought to come when we shall say we can forgive one no more. When we are smarting under some injury done us by another, and when our feeling of resentment is burning into a flame within us, we should remember that the wrong we have done to God is infinitely greater, and that he in his love has freely forgiven us. Should we not, then, be willing to forgive others their little wrongs against us? This is why our Lord put into the prayer he taught his disciples the words, "Forgive us our debts as we forgive." He wants us always to remember that we ourselves need forgiveness, and that if we would be like him we must forgive as he does.

Even those to whom we are the truest friends, and for whom we do the most, will some times treat us unjustly and do us sore injury. We cannot but feel the pain of such wrongs; but if meekly borne they will be turned to good for us by that divine love which transmutes everything into blessing for the life of faith. It is only when we cherish resentment and hold grudge in our hearts that the injuries done to us by others really harm us. Forgiveness robs them of their power to hurt us. Let us forgive generously. Too much of our forgiveness is with reservation: "I forgive you; but this ends our friendship." The fuller our forgiveness, the richer blessing do we take from the injurious treatment.

At the time when help, deliverance, or favour comes to us, our hearts are very warm with grateful feeling. "We will never forget this kindness," we say. But do we never forget it? We remember injuries done to us. We all know how hard it is to forget a wrong that another has inflicted upon us. Sometimes we say, with martyr-like air, "I forgive him, but I can never forget the injury." Slights and cutting words and unkindnesses and neglects--how well we remember these! But have we as good memories for favours, kindnesses, blessings? Ought we not to have? Shall we not train ourselves rather to forget the hurts we receive as the lake forgets the ploughing of the keel through its waters, and to remember with faithful gratitude every smallest kindness done to us?

Genesis 50:14-21: And Joseph returned into Egypt, he, and his brethren, and all that went up with him to bury his father, after he had buried his father. And when Joseph's brethren saw that their father was dead, they said, Joseph will peradventure hate us, and will certainly requite us all the evil which we did unto him. And they sent a messenger unto Joseph, saying, Thy father did command before he died, saying, So shall ye say unto Joseph, Forgive, I pray thee now, the trespass of thy brethren, and their sin; for they did unto thee evil: and now, we pray thee, forgive the trespass of the servants of the God of thy father. And Joseph wept when they spake unto him. And his brethren also went and fell down before his face; and they said, Behold, we be thy servants. And Joseph said unto them, Fear not: for am I in the place of God? But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive. Now therefore fear ye not: I will nourish you, and your little ones. And he comforted them, and spake kindly unto them. (KJV)
Proverbs 24:17: Rejoice not when thine enemy falleth, and let not thine heart be glad when he stumbleth: (KJV)
Proverbs 24:29: Say not, I will do so to him as he hath done to me: I will render to the man according to his work. (KJV)
Proverbs 25:21-22: If thine enemy be hungry, give him bread to eat; and if he be thirsty, give him water to drink: For thou shalt heap coals of fire upon his head, and the LORD shall reward thee. (KJV)
Matthew 6:12: And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. (KJV)
Matthew 6:14: For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: (KJV)
Luke 23:34: Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots. (KJV)
Romans 12:17: Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men. (KJV)
Romans 12:19: Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord. (KJV)
Ephesians 4:32: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you. (KJV)
1 Peter 3:9: Not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing. (KJV)

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