Christ is so clear on the subject of forgiveness.
From His Sermon on the Mount, “For if you forgive others for their transgressions, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions.” Matthew 6:14-15
When I was growing up in the church, every once in a while I would hear about the unpardonable sin. Some of the adults my mom hung around believed this to be suicide because a person couldn’t repent of the decision. Others looked to verses like the one in Hebrews that says roughly a person who has experienced salvation and has turned his back on it can’t be saved again. They surmised that falling away was the unpardonable sin. Still others debated that there was no such thing. That God loves us and will pardon anything we do.
My purpose for this is not to start a debate about which is the unforgiveable sin or if there even is such a thing. I will say, though, that I think any sin is unpardonable if we don’t accept Christ’s redemption and salvation.
I also think that the verses about forgiveness aren’t speaking to the unsaved population. Jesus was talking to His followers. Men and women who had left behind their homes, jobs, and families, at least for the day (though some of them followed for years), to come to a remote place and listen to His teaching.
He is clearly stating that if those followers fail to forgive each other (or even unbelievers) for the wrongs committed against them, then they won’t be forgiven their own mistakes. That’s pretty intense. Very startling to my way of thinking. But I’m not about to discount it or try to explain it away. The Bible says it. If I start fiddling with what the Bible says, I might as well toss the whole thing out.
While this is a clear instruction, it’s not always an easy task. But I will say that having a merciful heart makes it harder for bitterness and resentment to put down roots. And believe me, they will if they get the chance.
Your Turn: What attacks do you find the hardest to forgive?
Forgiveness is a theme in a collaborative novella that is being released, A Dozen Apologies. After experiencing Christ’s saving grace, Mara must attempt to right the wrongs she’s committed. But the men she humiliated have a tough time accepting her apologies. To read her story, find the posts on Write Integrity Press and watch for the notice of the free e-book.
Marji is a homeschooling mom of 4 with the oldest working in the mission field in Africa. She spends her days transporting to and from volleyball, teaching writing classes at a local coop, and directing the children’s music program at her church.
With decades of leading worship, directing and performing in theatre productions, and script-writing, Marji took the plunge to creating scintillating Christian romance and romantic suspense novels with a side of Texas sassy. She invites readers to unravel their inspiration, seeking a deeper knowledge of the Lord’s Great Mystery that invites us all.
You can find Marji at