Messiah's words make it sound like forgiveness from our Heavenly Father is contingent on more than just our asking and Messiah's death and resurrection. We have to forgive others!!! It's not even in the fine print or subject to interpretation. It's in red letters!
Matthew 6 and Mark 11 both contain verses that are quite clear about forgiveness and draw the direct correlation between our forgiveness and forgiving others. Then there is the Lord's Prayer that makes it clear, as well.
I've been following along social media and the "religiously justifiable" reasons to unfriend and block. In my perspective, that rings of unforgiveness, and got me thinking. So many of our relationships are now through digital and internet means, so how do the words of Messiah apply to our 21st century lifestyle? The internet is filled with annoying people and if we spent as much time in the general public as we do online, not to mention a moment or two in the mirror; we'd discover real time people can be just as annoying. Perhaps that realization is the reason so many folks prefer a digital presence in this world.
Social media has me pondering about forgiveness in regard to unfriending and blocking. I only have one criteria for unfriending and that is when one has claimed to be a follower of Messiah/Christian and then denies him. That is the end of a digital friendship, as I don't want the anti-message posted to my wall, but I don't block. I've never blocked anyone, but I've been blocked. Blocking prohibits any resolution of the offense, and I have trouble with that in light of Scripture. It seems like unforgiveness. I may be wrong, but that's where I am at this current time.
Another perspective I've come to understand, at least for myself is; it's easier to forgive someone that makes me mad than it is to forgive someone that hurts me, and I wanted to make certain I didn't hold on to any hurt! When it comes to witnessing someone hurting someone else, I don't have any trouble setting them straight, so there's nothing for me to forgive. We tend to excuse, some even glorify offense, like it's some sort of martyrdom. It isn't, it just isn't! Hurt feelings are very real and so is offense, but it's not necessarily a badge of righteousness.
As I was praying, I asked Father, since we are created in His image and He can literally blot out and forget our sins, if that same ability was available for me. To my surprise, He said, I already had that ability . . . I have a very good memory, so I sometimes forget humanity has the ability to forget. I don't know how this "gift" came about in my life, but if I write something down, it's gone. Perhaps it goes back to my childhood and hearing adults say, "I better write this down, I'll forget it." Since I was a kid, if I wanted to remember something, I did NOT write it down. By that same token, when I wrote a number down, I never remembered it again. As it turns out, this ability to forget what I write, not only works with numbers, but with words as well! It was as if I couldn't retain something that had traveled from my brain to my hands. A few years ago, I wrote the cookbook, "Sweet Memories and Happy Plates." Those recipes that had been in my head for ages and ages, went on paper. Now I have to look the recipes up in the cookbook to make the same dishes I'd been preparing for over 30 years.
In writing my last book, Father had told me to be raw and organic . . . I was writing about emotional issues many of us face, from an often overwhelming perspective. I'm not one to share a great deal of personal information, but I knew that was needed this time. Since this was different for me, I knew it would take some serious editing. I wasn't sure how much information was too much information. Interestingly, after writing it, then reading over certain statements, I tore up the pages and threw them away. The pain had been gone for some time, but the offense was finally over, the memories had faded, as well as the associated emotions. It was so wonderful!
We are to forgive as we've been forgiven. For sin to be blotted out, seems to indicate the offense was written. He blots out our sin by His own right hand. Isaiah 59:16
Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when
the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of ADONAI; Acts 3:19
I get rid of reminders, also. I've gotten rid of outfits, gifts, whatever item is a reminder of a bad situation just needs to be gone! I've never sold the reminders, but I have donated everything from kitchen items to clothing. If it blesses someone else in their need, they have nothing but a "good bargain" to remember. As for getting rid of reminders, again, the offense and the emotions associated are gone. Of course, I pray and speak release from the offenses and hurts.
Repentance and forgiveness are the major factors in establishing our relationship with our Heavenly Father. Not only are we called to repent of our sin against Him and His Word, but we must also repent from holding offense against those who offend us. Holding an offense is unforgiveness and unforgiveness is a barrier in a relationship with our Heavenly Father.
For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive
you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive
your trespasses. Matthew 6:14-15