Forgiveness from Bible Alive

From Bible Alive 14th July 2001

Mother Teresa of Calcutta once said, ‘It is by forgiving that one is forgiven.’
Like so many of her statements the language is deceptively simple but the teaching profound.
Whenever we pray the ‘Our Father’ we pray that God may forgive those who have wronged us.
At first sight, it seems fair enough, though over the years we may have just considered this to be a kind of bargain we strike with God, that if we ‘do our bit’ in forgiving others, then he will do the same to us.

 

The truth is far deeper and Mother Teresa alludes to this in her teachings. For in actual fact, it is only by forgiving others that we become open to accepting the forgiveness of others whom we have hurt.
If we find it hard to forgive those who hurt us, we often find it difficult to accept forgiveness ourselves.
Indeed, we may even find it impossible to forgive ourselves – something we should do when God forgives us.
It seems as though forgiveness is a two way process – if we don’t give it, then we find it hard to receive too.

 

Perhaps if we harbour resentments against others, then we regard them as having the same attitudes towards us, and we become locked into a cycle of bitterness which true repentance and release find no place.

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