"Forgive For Forgiveness"
June 26, 2009
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 6:14-15
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ:
The salvation story of Jesus Christ reaches around the world. So that the readers of our Daily Devotion may see the power of the Savior on a global scale, we have asked the volunteers of our International Ministry Centers to write our Friday devotions. We pray that the Spirit may touch your day through their words.
In Christ, I remain, His servant and yours,
Kenneth R. Klaus
Speaker of The Lutheran Hour
Communication can be difficult sometimes, even with the ones who are closest to us. A few years ago, my fiancée, Olivia, and I were going through a period when communication was strained between us. Repeatedly, I felt she misinterpreted what I said and did. Her response was often one of resentment, and I would feel hurt by her rejection. On and on the cycle continued. None of my prayers for Olivia seemed to help.
One day our counselor told me, "You can spend the rest of your life praying for someone to change, Charles, but if unforgiveness is in your heart, no matter how well hidden, you are interfering with God's answer to your prayers."
Hot tears rolled down my face. The problem was me! In desperation, I confessed my unforgiveness not only to God, but to Olivia, too.
The indefinable gloom I hadn't been able to shake lifted like a dark cloud vanishes from the sky. Most amazing was the immediate change in Olivia. We laughed together, prayed together, even went shopping together. Sometimes we held hands for a few moments without speaking.
I soon realized Olivia was making mature decisions on her own, without one word from me. Then she began asking for my opinions instead of struggling against me. One memorable evening I heard her tell a friend on the phone, "Charles and I have a really good relationship." I smiled.
What a powerful gift is this thing called "forgiveness." Our Savior, Jesus Christ, teaches us to ask God to forgive our sins. As believers in Jesus Christ, our heavenly Father does not look at our sins, nor does He deny our prayers on account of them. He grants us forgiveness of them by His grace through the death and resurrection of His Son.
THE PRAYER: Heavenly Father, help us to forgive those who sin against us as You have forgiven us. Amen.
Biography of Author: Pastor Charles Bameka has directed LHM-Uganda since 2002. From an office in Kampala, volunteers and staff reach help people in need through Equipping the Saints, Bible Correspondence Courses, and the This is the Life TV program. Ministering to those living with HIV/AIDS in Uganda (more than 500,000) is a critical aspect of LHM's mission there.