Luke 11:4 – …and forgive us our sins, for we ourselves forgive everyone who is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation.
Romans 12:17-21 – Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
Unforgiveness is the opposite of love. When we keep a record of wrongs, we are acting as an accountant and keeping score of the spiritual debt others have accrued to us. This is why unforgiving people say things such as, “They owe me,” “I will make them pay,” and “I will get even.”
Jesus teaches us that when we forgive someone, we are canceling whatever debt they owe us. In the Lord’s Prayer, Jesus teaches us to pray, “forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.” Perhaps teaching it on a different occasion, Jesus makes a slight modification: “forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us.” Did you catch the difference? Jesus uses the words “debts” and “sins” synonymously.
If you make someone pay, that is vengeance. Vengeance is something that we need to trust God for and not take into our own hands. God said, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay.”
If you absorb the loss and pay for them, that is forgiveness. In forgiving someone, you choose not to sit as a judge and render a sentence on someone else. Instead you are sending that case to God’s higher court, which will result in them either being sentenced to the eternal debtors’ prison of hell or having their debt paid by Jesus on the cross.
To order the new book from Pastor Mark & Grace Driscoll “Win Your War”, visit: https://amzn.to/2YuhoDn.
For the entire eight-week “Win Your War” sermon series from Pastor Mark, visit www.markdriscoll.org or the Mark Driscoll Ministries app.