And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses (Mark 11:25).
We have this saying in our house every night, “please forgive me for offending you”. And the response from the other person, “I forgive you”. Forgiveness is a two way street. First, there is acknowledgment that you have offended someone, and secondly, there is the act of receiving the forgiveness.
When we don’t forgive, we harbor bitterness, anger, and pain within ourselves. Without forgiveness, God will not release these emotions until you confront them. “But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses (Mark 11:26)”. Harboring your faults and sins against one another is like being shackled and in bondage. The only way to get rid of this is to ask for forgiveness.
Before Jesus died, he prayed to his Father and said, “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do (Luke 23:34)”. And before Stephen, the deacon, died; he told God not lay this sin against them for stoning him. This was amazing because the type of forgiveness Jesus and Stephen displayed was public forgiveness. As result, their emotions and conscience was free and clear even though they knew that they were facing death. Jesus and Stephen continued to display the love to those who harmed them. When public forgiveness happens, anger, bitterness, and pain are released from your life. You no longer have to worry about harboring these physical and mental emotions.
I remember not forgiving a person for several years. That thing held me up for so long until I was dreaming and thinking about it. I had to let it go because it was tearing me up inside. Finally, I asked God to forgive me and I also reconciled with that person. It was a relief for me. We hugged for about five minutes. My pain, anger, and emotions were released that day. God restored his power back into me.
Another reason to say, “please forgive me”, is to keep from having pride in your life. When we refuse to forgive, we will develop pride. “Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall (Proverbs 16:18)”. Man’s pride will bring him low according to Proverbs 29:23. Pride is not of God; he despises it. “The fear of the LORD is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate Proverbs 8:13)”. Did I have pride? Yes I did. I realized that I controlled my own pain, anger, and bitterness by being prideful. Do yourself a favor – get rid of it.
Six simple words will restore the power of God in your life – Please forgive me for offending you.
Author of soon released title coming in September 2009: Hostile Takeover – Manifesting God’s Plan and Purpose for Your Finances