I added the 3 exclamation points after my heading today for very intentional emphasis—Don’t ask for forgiveness if you can’t forgive!!! And I’m writing this not for you and others but for me. I’m preaching to myself this morning not to bother to ask God for forgiveness if I can’t forgive others. God is always less than a heartbeat away ready to forgive us, no matter what we do or don’t do to others. The question is do we dare to ask for forgiveness if we can’t forgive those around us. The answer is an emphatic “no!”
We obviously are not God. This human shell gets in our way all the time. We let our emotions get the better of us with an assist from the devil, who feeds off of turmoil and unforgiveness. However, God expects us to put others first, even in front of ourselves, and that includes forgiving. If someone strikes you, turn the other cheek for them to strike that side.
If anyone strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also; and from anyone who takes away your coat do not withhold even your shirt. Luke 6:29
I’m crawling out of my skin this morning with pride, ego, and self-righteousness. Forgiveness is the furthest thing from my mind. Yet, I know that God, even if he is there to forgive me, wants me to forgive. It’s not easy and rubs against every emotion brewing inside, but forgiveness is what I have to do today. The more I write the more I realize that I can’t ask for forgiveness if I don’t forgive.
There is way too much unforgiveness in the world today. Too many people are living for themselves and not for others. If we want to change the world around us we have to start with ourselves. And that starts with forgiveness.
Try forgiving someone today. Do, then ask!
Have a great day!