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Always Be Ready to Forgive

As I was searching for a title for this devotion, the words that God initially gave me were, “Be Ready to Forgive.”  But I felt that there was an important word missing. The missing word was “Always.” The word “always” is crucial and cannot be left out. We are not always ready to forgive, but the Master has given us a mandate to always be ready to forgive. We cannot forgive only when we feel like it, when it is beneficial to us, when we are seeking to gain something in return, or when we are forced to ask for it. We should forgive with a willing heart, because God requires us to do so. Prayerfully, the words found in today’s scripture have penetrated our hearts and made us ready to forgive. In Matthew 6:12 we find these words:

“‘And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.’”

This is the 5th petition of the Lord’s Prayer — to forgive. Forgiveness can be defined as laying aside resentment and anger. There is no escape from our obligation to forgive because we have been forgiven. The gift of pardon by the Lord Himself is something we could not have achieved on our own. Grace and mercy were bound together in the love of Christ that washed away our sins. None of us could exist without God’s forgiveness; consequently, out of that great love He has shown us, it is possible for us to forgive others. We are indebted to Him and it is a debt we cannot repay, but we can express our appreciation for what He has done by forgiving others. May we all have a spirit of forgiveness in our hearts, and may we always be ready to forgive.