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June 15, 2022

The Need to Forgive Others

Mark 11:24 For this reason I say to you, All things that you pray and ask, believe that you have received them, and you will have them. 25 And when you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father who is in the heavens may also forgive you your offenses. 26 But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father who is in the heavens forgive your offenses.

Then [in v. 24-26] the Lord went on to speak about prayer. In particular He pointed out our need to forgive others. Here we see that to forgive the offenses of others is the ground for our heavenly Father to forgive us. This is especially true in our prayer time. Strictly speaking, we cannot pray with a heart that holds anything against anyone, that is, with a heart that feels offended by anyone or remembers another's offense. The root of our unwillingness to forgive others lies in our dispositional anger. No matter how nice you may be, you still have dispositional anger. The reason you are offended is that you have such a disposition. Sometimes when I have offended a brother, he has said that he does not care about the offense. Actually, we all care when we are offended. The outward reaction or appearance may be different, but the dispositional anger, the anger hidden in our disposition, is the same. Because of our dispositional anger, it is difficult to forgive others. According to the Bible, to forgive is to forget. For us, to forgive a person may mean that we simply do not care about the particular offense. However, we still remember it. How difficult it is to forget an offense against us! Without the Lord's mercy and grace, we would remember others' offenses even in eternity. But when God forgives, He forgets. Hebrews 10:17 says, "And their sins and their lawlessnesses I will by no means remember any more." To forgive something absolutely is to forget it. Our Father in heaven considers us as if we have never sinned, for He has forgiven and forgotten our sins. But when we forgive an offense, we often remind others of it. For example, a sister may say, "The elders treated me very poorly; however, I have forgiven them. But let me tell you a little about what happened." Genuine forgiveness means that we forget the offense. (c) Living Stream Ministry.

Bible verses are taken from the Recovery Version of the Bible and Words of Ministry from Witness Lee, Life-study of Mark, pp. 307, Life-Study of Matthew, Chapter 51, Section 1. Both are published by Living Stream Ministry, Anaheim, CA. Please visit us at www.emanna.com. Send comments to: comment@emanna.com.

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