“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 NASB
In 1947, Corrie ten Boom spoke at a church in Munich. It was a complicated time for the people of Germany as they tried to recover from World War II. Corrie spoke about a practical subject: forgiveness. She told the church, “When we confess our sins, God casts them into the deepest ocean, gone forever.”
After her message, she was approached by a man who looked familiar. Gradually, she remembered that he was a guard at the Ravensbruck concentration camp where Corrie and her sister Betsie had been imprisoned during the war. Betsie had died in that camp.
Although he did not recognize her, he admitted that he had been a guard but had become a Christian. “I know that God has forgiven me for the cruel things I did there, but I would like to hear it from your lips as well.” He reached out his hand and said, “Will you forgive me?”
Here was a practical opportunity to practice what God had been showing her. Still, she wrestled with how to respond, but she knew she had to forgive him.
Praying silently, she felt God gave her strength. As she reached out her hand, “an incredible thing took place.” She felt a current racing down her arm into their joined hands. “This healing warmth seemed to flood my whole being, bringing tears to my eyes. For a long moment we grasped each other’s hands, the former guard and the former prisoner. I had never known God’s love so intensely as I did then.”
Is there someone in your life whom you need to forgive? If Corrie ten Boom could forgive this guard, you can forgive those who have wronged you. Ask God to help you. As you forgive others, you will experience the forgiveness He has for you.
PrayerFather, right now I forgive these people for what they have said or done: __________. Give me your love for these people. Thank You for forgiving my sins. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Extended ReadingMatthew 6