“If you hold anything against anyone, Forgive them.” Mark 11:25

Someone said, “Forgiving someone who has wronged us is tough work.  It is so tough that many of us simply will not go there.  But, this is what Jesus said we need to do, so that our Father in heaven can do what He wants to do.  Jesus said,  “And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive them, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.” Mark 11: 25

You will recall the the scripture that tells of the incident when Jesus spoke to a Fig tree that had leaves but no fruit.  (Mark 11: 12-14).  He said unto it, “May no one ever eat fruit from you again.”  By the next day it was totally withered. Why would Jesus do something like that?  As always, it was to make a point, or points.  Everything He did, and said, was to Teach.
There are obviously reasons we do not know, but I believe these two stand out.  Number one is the power of spoken words to things other than people.  Number two was to give a visual of something that appears to be doing what it should, but in fact is not.  Leaves on a fig tree most always meant fruit on the tree, but even though this tree had leaves, there was no fruit.
This was true of the religious leaders in Israel at the time.  Instead of meeting the spiritual needs of the people, it was about them.  It was about the Law, and keeping their image.  They looked good, but there was no fruit for the people. Of course Jesus put that squarely on the table, and in Mark 11:15 we see Jesus clearing the Temple for the second time, so between these two things instead of repenting, they wanted Him dead.  They could care less about true fruit for themselves or for the people.
As followers of Christ, we are expected to forgive.  The Lord taught us to pray in the Lord’s prayer, “forgive us our sins as we have forgiven those who have sinned against us.”  When we do not forgive, we can be like that fig tree.  We may look like we are okay, but if there is unforgiveness in our heart, it is very difficult to bring forth fruit for the people in our lives.  Jesus died for our sins on the cross, and Father has forgiven us our past, present, and future sins.  But we can block the flow of His love in and through us when we hang on to bitterness, resentment, and desire to hurt someone back.  Jesus has paid the price for our sins and Father has set us free from them.  When we will not forgive, we put ourselves in bondage, and that is not what our God of love wants for us.
So even though it is hard, and in many cases totally undeserved by the one we choose to forgive, it sets us free when we do.  It sets the Holy Spirit free to fill us totally.  This is the desire of our Lord.
We hurt ourselves by not forgiving.  It more than likely does not matter at all to the person that hurt us if we do not forgive, so where is the hurt?  Only in us.  To forgive someone does not mean the relationship is restored.  It may or may not be.  And that is not the goal.  The goal for us is to be set free, to be cleansed, and to be filled completely with the power of the Holy Spirit.  I pray that it be so for each of us.
May you be blessed with a forgiving spirit, and allow Him to repair the damage that was made to you,  May any holes made in your heart be filled with His love.  May you be made whole, and at peace with our Lord, with yourself, and with all those in your life.  You are greatly loved, sweet Child of God.  May you let it flow through you.
Poppa B.

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