2/6 Mark 11:25

25 "And whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses."

On several different occasions, Jesus declared that we should forgive those who have offended us if we want God to forgive us (Matthew 6:14). Every sin offends God. We must realize that it is difficult for a human to go through a single day without offending God. That means we need the forgiveness of God or we will face eternal judgment (Matthew 18:35). To offend a fellow human is to offend someone made in the image of God. But Jesus is speaking to the one who is offended. That person must forgive whether the offender seeks forgiveness or not.

You might ask why that is necessary. Think how minor an infraction it is for a human to offend a human as compared to a human offending his or her Creator, God. If our hearts are hardened toward the one who offended us, why should God not harden His heart toward us? We should forgive because we realize we are just as capable of offending someone and we need forgiveness. We have been and will be just as guilty as the one we forgive.

God is seeking our best interest. Forgiving frees us from our own poisonous thoughts. The one who offended us is not playing the offense over and over in his or her mind. Yet we do so to our own detriment. The poison of bitterness affects our thoughts and attitudes. When we begin to pray, those thoughts come to mind. Jesus says that moment is the time to forgive them. You are coming before God from Whom you need forgiveness. Begin your prayer time by forgiving anyone who has offended you.

Consider: Christians follow the example of their Savior, who forgave those who crucified Him (Luke 23:34).