Unforgiving and Unforgiven Nation.

Just about everyone knows the Lord’s Prayer. But do they really? Here’s the Lord’s Prayer in the context in which it is presented in Matthew 6:5-15. Do verses 14 and 15 surprise you? Are you stunned that the Father expects you to forgive everyone who offends you just as you were forgiven: Romans 5:8. It’s hard to make an argument that we are not required to forgive everyone who hurts us. There are legions of Americans who are unable to forgive Donald Trump because someone told them or ran a recording of his remarks which were not even directed at themselves. The truth is we have no right to be offended when we are just bystanders—but even if we wrongly take offense, we are subject to the above verses.

Forgiveness is a big deal for Christians. But, through some twisted thinking, American Christians think it is o.k. to slander fellow citizens without restraint in politics. The truth is, slander is the coin of the realm in America. Freedom of Speech is a civil right, but if you think a civil right is bigger than God’s 9th commandment: “You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor,” then you have a big problem with God. Today, we don’t even put perjured court witnesses in jail—people can die because of their false testimony, but their lies are not prosecuted or punished in any way. Do you think that’s o.k.?

I’m not saying forgiveness is easy. It is hard. In truth, it’s impossible in most cases—without God’s help. But, God will always provide help to anyone who wants to obey Him but hasn’t the strength to do so.

Decades Ago, I was maliciously harmed by a group of ambitious people. The consequences of that harm extend to this day. A bitter root was planted in my family towards the conspirators. I tried to forgive the leader of the slander for years—to no avail. The embers seemed cold but would flame up when I least expected. I prayed and waited. Then God gave me the answer, and I took it to Him:

“Father, I have forgiven X for years, but my anger flames up anew every time I look at the effects of his actions upon my family. You know that I want to forgive him, and the others involved, but I cannot make it lasting. Here is what You have led me to pray. When I come to heaven and You greet me, I want X to be at Your side, forgiven, and all the others, as well. As You forgave me, so I forgive them. Amen.”

Incredible as that prayer may sound to you, the issue was resolved at that moment. For two decades, now, I have never thought of those men except in peace, contentment, and good wishes.

God will always provide you with the resources to obey His will. And that includes healing our country from our present turmoil:

“If my people, who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14

Do you really believe political parties can heal our nation? Healing from God will only come when we follow the instructions in the verse above.

God bless you,

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