Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins. (Matthew 6:12-15)
Could it be that the temptation from the evil one is to trick us into denying forgiveness? Our forgiving others does not earn us salvation, but it is an evidence that we have awakened to salvation and are fully aware of Christ's gift. When we completely awaken to this gift, we can no longer wish hell on others, not even on our enemies!
Denying someone mercy, or thinking we can, is only symptomatic of our ignorance of the cross, our lack of awareness of self and proof of our own current citizenship in hell . . . an earthly hell of bitterness and unforgiveness. How can we receive the full knowledge of Christ's unconditional love if we cannot fathom fully giving it? How can we comprehend His finished work of grace if unforgiveness resides in us? Our inability to grasp the beauty of salvation does not lessen its power, it only minimizes how much we can consciously walk in the wonder of it now.
Sitting in the seat of judgment, no matter how justified it may seem, keeps salvation's wondrous awakening away from us and is a sure sign of self-absorption and blindness. We will never be released from the fear of judgment until we comprehend that in Christ - God's mercy is not only being poured into our lap but is running over us and onto the whole world. When our eyes are opened to this reality we will be able and willing to measure mercy appropriately to others.
Quote of the Week
"If your heart is set on revenge, you had better dig two graves."
- Chinese Proverb