Do mention it!

This is how you should pray … Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who have sinned against us … For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.  (Matthew 6:12-15)
 
Then the master called the servant in. “You wicked servant,” he said, “I cancelled all that debt of yours because you begged me to. Shouldn’t you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you?” In anger his master handed him over to the jailers to be tortured, until he should pay back all he owed. ‘This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother or sister from your heart. (Matthew 18:32-35)
 
Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. (Colossians 3:13-14)
 
Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you (Ephesians 4:32)
A recent survey found that the average British person says “sorry” at least eight times a day. It’s such a strong cultural reflex that I even found myself saying it to a guy who had nearly knocked me into the road because he was running while looking at his phone! “Don’t mention it – its fine!”, comes so quickly to our lips, even when on the inside we might actually be seething with rage or recoiling in hurt. Is this a good thing? Is it what Jesus meant when he talked about, “forgiving from the heart”?
In his excellent book, “Forgiveness – God’s Master Key”, Peter Horrobin says that if we are to truly forgive from the heart then we must be thorough. He suggests a helpful process to follow when we become aware of a need to forgive someone.

First, we must seek God’s forgiveness for our own sin, thanking him for how freely available it is. Second, we must name the person before God, “Father I now choose to forgive (name them), for (state clearly what they did), which made me feel (be honest before God, he can see your heart anyway and we need to get to the root of the pain), I release them into the freedom of my forgiveness and I will not hold these things against them any more”.

Third, we might pray, “Father, I ask now that you set me free from any ungodly influence that (name the person again) has had in my life and that you cut the ropes that have tied me to the pain of the past.”
 
This process can take time, and sometimes needs repeating as issues re-emerge. In serious situations we may need the support of a trusted believing friend or our Life Group Leader as we face the pain and forgive anyway. Remember, we don’t need to wait until feelings of forgiveness arise. We can choose to forgive as a step of faith and obedience.
  1. Ask the Holy Spirit to bring to mind anyone who you need to forgive today and follow the process above.
  2. How are you going to respond to them today?
  3. If you don’t have time to go through this process right now, will you make a note of what you need to do and identify another time when you can complete the process?
Lord Jesus, thank you for dying on the cross that I might be forgiven. Thank you, too, for helping me to forgive those who have sinned against me. I know that I will keep on sinning while I am in this fallen world, and I will keep on being sinned against too. Thank you for your master key of forgiveness that enables me to live in freedom today. Amen
Today’s Everyday Devotions were written by David Featherstone.
If you have time, consider carrying on your conversation with God using one of our helpful Prayer Pathways.
Today’s Everyday Devotions have also inspired a devotional video that you can watch on our YouTube channel.
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