‘Blessed is the one whose sin the Lord does not count against them and in whose spirit is no deceit.’ Psalm 32.2
Being forgiven greatly affects our standing with God; it means there is nothing to separate us from him. There are also other implications as well, such as the way we treat other people.
There is a thought-provoking story in Matthew 18 about a man who owed a fortune, and as an act of mercy his debt was wiped clean by the king and he was allowed to go free. What did this man do with his new freedom? He promptly went out and found someone who owed him the merest fraction of his former debt, and demanded that this small sum be repaid immediately. Why he would act in this way, especially after experiencing such mercy, is a mystery – and of course it is only a fictional story that Jesus told - but perhaps one reason behind the man’s inability to forgive was that it had not sunk in just what the merciful king had done for him.
Often it is the fact that we do not appreciate the extent of our forgiveness, and the extent of God’s love for us, that causes us to act harshly towards others. It is when we perceive ourselves unforgiven and do not sense our own value that we can be tempted to seek a sense of worth from others.
The death of Jesus for you stands as the ultimate sign that you are forgiven, and his willingness to give his life for you is a declaration of your value to God. You are forgiven; you are of great value to God – allow that to change how you relate to others.
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The Revd John Ryeland, Director of The Christian Healing Mission
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