Mark 11:25 (NIV)
25And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive them, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.”
Take a close look at the words so that in today’s reading. Now, consider these sentences:
Open the door so that you can walk through it. Let the hot chocolate cool down so that you can drink it without burning your tongue. Shower frequently so that you don’t stink.
When so that appears in the middle of the sentence, it means the first part of the sentence must be true or else the second part of the sentence can’t be true.
Now, look at the reading again: “forgive him so that your Father in heaven may forgive you.” Is that saying that if you refuse to extended forgiveness to someone, you make yourself ineligible for God’s forgiveness? It sure seems to.
In fact, every time you pray the Lord’s Prayer (Matthew 6), you say, “Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.” See the word as—meaning “in the same way?” Do you realize that you are asking to be forgiven in the same way that you forgive others? That being the case, how much of God’s total forgiveness are you allowing yourself to be given?
Think of some situations where you need to be more forgiving. If you haven’t forgiven the person, you may still be hurt about the situation. Journaling about it or talking it over with your youth leader might help. And praying about it definitely will. Ask God to help you find a way to be forgiving so that you can more fully experience God’s amazing love.
If this devotion spoke to you in a particular way and you feel led to share your thoughts with others, please do so.