Today’s Scrip-Bit   28 March 2023 Matthew 6:12.

Matthew 6:12. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.

And then it was a sunshiny spring Tuesday morning. Yes friends, today is indeed sunshiny. Yesterday wasn’t, although that’s what I wrote. Ah Lord eh! The devil does as the devil does yes! Yesterday was a rainy day, but somehow or the other I wrote that it was sunshiny. And it wasn’t that I didn’t see and experience the rain first hand and didn’t read the Bit after I had written it. The problem was that I had begun writing the Bit before the rain started, so since it was nice and dry then, and the day before had ended up sunny, I assumed that yesterday was also going to be sunny, thinking that I’d rewrite the opening if it turned out differently. 

And it did turn out differently. But I didn’t rewrite the opening. Steups! And was I ever flabbergasted when I discovered the error after sending out the Bit. That’s why I don’t like prewriting anything. I’m sure my Scrip-Bit family living in my area must have wondered if I’d gone off my rocker, because the sun was nowhere to be seen. (smile) Now, I might be headed in that direction, but I promise you, I’ve not reached that far as yet. So, my most humble apologies for such an infantile mistake. And thank you ever so much for forgiving me. It only means that the ole fella is mortal and thus fallible. (smile) 

And I guess that since we’re on the topic of forgiveness, we might as well stay there, because forgiveness is one of the most important aspects of our Christian faith. And what is forgiveness? It can mean different things to different people, but it’s basically to let go of anger and resentment on being hurt or offended. But here is a good explanation from an article on the topic by Robert Enright, from the Greater Good Magazine website. 

He writes: ‘Forgiveness can be incredibly difficult. When another person hurts us, it can upend our lives. Sometimes the hurt is very deep, such as when a spouse or a parent betrays our trust, or when we are victims of crime, or when we’ve been harshly bullied. Anyone who has suffered a grievous hurt knows that when our inner world is badly disrupted, it’s difficult to concentrate on anything other than our turmoil or pain. When we hold on to hurt, we are emotionally and cognitively hobbled, and our relationships suffer. 

Forgiveness is strong medicine for this. When life hits us hard, there is nothing as effective as forgiveness for healing deep wounds. I would not have spent the last 30 years of my life studying forgiveness if I were not convinced of this. Many people have misconceptions about what forgiveness really means—and they may eschew it. Others may want to forgive, but wonder whether or not they truly can. Forgiveness does not necessarily come easily; but it is possible for many of us to achieve, if we have the right tools and are willing to put in the effort.’ 

And right there is the crux of the problem: having the tools and being willing to put in the effort. And if we call ourselves Christian, believers in Christ, then we have the tools  and we better had have the effort, or else our witness will be immaterial and be burned up in the time of judgement like it was based on straw, hay or stubble. And why is that you ask? Because forgiveness is one of the very tenets on which our Christian faith is based. Christ came to earth specifically to die to pay for our sins, so that we could be forgiven by our heavenly Father, and thus be reconciled to Him, once again become sheep in His fold. 

And Jesus said quite clearly in His teaching on prayer, when He gave the disciples and us a sample of what our prayer ought to be like, what we call ‘The Lord’s Prayer.’  In the midst of it He stated: ‘And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.’ (Matt. 6:12) Now why would Jesus put something like that in there eh? Because as we just said, it’s of the utmost importance in our faith. And after the prayer, He showed us why. ‘For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.’ (Matt. 6: 14-15) 

Yes, my fellow believers, it‘s as simple as that. If we don’t forgive those who hurt us, our heavenly Father won’t forgive us. He’s made it a cardinal rule of His kingdom. In other words, He’s saying, if I can LOVE you so much, want to forgive your abominable sins so much, that I can break my heart to send my only Son to die in your place, then the least you can do is to also forgive those who hurt you. And yes, it’s all based on the mighty, unconditional LOVE of the Father, for us, His sinful children. Bruh Paul puts it best when he wrote to the church at Rome. ‘But God commendeth (demonstrated) his (own) LOVE toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.’ (Rom. 5:8) 

Yes, He didn’t wait for us to come to him, He came to us. That demonstrates great LOVE! And LOVE is the main tool we have to use in forgiveness. That’s LOVING God, ourselves and our neighbours enough to forgive. And these two paragraphs from that article by Robert Enright quoted above, show us how important the act of forgiveness is, especially to us. 

He says: ‘Forgiveness is about goodness, about extending mercy to those who’ve harmed us, even if they don’t “deserve” it. It is not about finding excuses for the offending person’s behavior or pretending it didn’t happen. Nor is there a quick formula you can follow. Forgiveness is a process with many steps that often proceeds in a non-linear fashion. But it’s well worth the effort. Working on forgiveness can help us increase our self-esteem and give us a sense of inner strength and safety. It can reverse the lies that we often tell ourselves when someone has hurt us deeply—lies like, I am defeated or I’m not worthy. Forgiveness can heal us and allow us to move on in life with meaning and purpose. Forgiveness matters, and we will be its primary beneficiary.’ 

Yes friends, when we forgive, we are the main beneficiary; our souls start to heal, we become more mature, and the Lord forgives us. We can’t ask for a better result than that. So please, let’s get on with the forgiving of others and ourselves nuh, cause it’s all for our benefit, and it pleases our heavenly Father! And for those of us who are sincerely working on it, lets’ go home declaring (awright!!!) our Tuesday Mantra, letting all and sundry know to whom we belong, lock, stock and barrel. 

As one sincere voice: ‘In God’s eyes, I’m not what I do. I’m not what I have. I’m not what people say about me. I am the beloved of God, that’s who I am. No one can take that from me. I don’t have to worry. I don’t have to hurry. I can trust my friend Jesus and share His LOVE with my immediate neighbours, as well as with the whole wide world! Glory be!’ 

Now let’s go out and do just that nuh: share the amazing LOVE and friendship of Jesus with others, so that they too can come to know and LOVE Him like we do! Much LOVE!

…as always…whatever God tells us to do…it’s for our benefit…He’s said to forgive…so let’s forgive… 

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