Mark 11:22 And Jesus answering saith unto them, Have faith in God. 23 For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith. 24 Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them. 25 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. 26 But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses.
We need faith to receive from God and to please God. God has dealt to every Christian the measure of faith and He intended for it to work for us. Faith, though, works by certain principles. Galatians 5:6 tells us that faith works by love and one of the greatest acts of love is to forgive in the midst of personal conflict. Jesus in teaching on how faith works in Mark 11:22-24 also linked forgiveness to how faith works.
Jesus said faith works by saying in verse 23; faith works by praying in verse 24; but faith also works by forgiving in verses 25, and 26:
“25 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. 26 But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses.”
Forgiveness is to release or dismiss.
Forgiveness is release of what is owed or the obligation. The obligation can be of what should have been done but was not done; or the obligation can be of what shouldn’t have been done but was done. Forgiveness is release of the obligation where you are in effect saying, “You don’t owe me and I’ll not make you pay.”
After you forgive you also:
- Release others from your personal judgment.
That means you quit bringing the case before your mind as if you are the judge, jury, and prosecuting attorney reviewing the facts of the offense.
- Release others from your personal vengeance.
You quit plotting avenging the wrong done to you or getting the justice you feel is owed to you; you quit planning a way of “payback” or getting back at them.
- Release others from your personal predictions.
You refuse making personal predictions of what is going to happen to the guilty offender now that they’ve hurt you.
This isn’t the total teachings of Jesus on forgiveness because there are other circumstances where Jesus told us how to handle offenses (Matthew 18:15-20; Luke 17:1-4). From this passage, though, in Mark 11:22-26, knowing forgiveness means to release we can also realize that unforgiveness, then, is a refusal to release. Unforgiveness hurts us more than the one we refuse to forgive and it is the beginning of the destruction of a relationship. Our refusal to forgive (release others) positions us or blocks us from receiving the forgiveness we need from God. Sin always hinders our receiving. Jesus also said, “When ye stand praying forgive…” which can imply that we should not allow unforgiveness to remain and go on day after day as we walk with God. Our prayer life, “When you stand praying,” can be a place where we examine ourselves, find grace to help us, and forgive others.
Our relationship to the Father couldn’t exist or continue without forgiveness from Him. Through forgiveness our relationship is maintained. That is a relationship between a Divine Being, God, and a human being which is us. One side is perfect, the other side is not. How much more is forgiveness needed between two imperfect human beings. In like manner, we need forgiveness to maintain our relationship to our mate, children, brothers, sisters, etc.