Jesus said, “If ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” And this cuts across the grain of so many, many professed Christians. To forgive someone else seems almost impossible.
“I can’t forgive” is an expression that is repeated over and over again every where you go. Regardless of where it is found, it is always coming from an imperfect Christian.
“I just can’t forgive him. What he did to me hurt so badly it almost made me leave the church. I can’t forgive him because he hasn’t even made as much as a feeble effort to try to apologize, much less make it right.” As difficult as this is to accept, it is not the job of the one who did the hurting to make the first step towards reconciliation, but the one who was hurt. Jesus said that when you pray to “forgive, if ye have aught against any.” And just to make sure that there was no misunderstanding, He worded it again this way: “If… thy brother hath aught against thee, first be reconciled to thy brother.”
A newspaper in London, in the days of the telegraph, had a private wire connecting the Edinburgh office with theirs. This way they could get all the latest news from the Scottish Athens. One night the clerk who was gathering up the news to take back to the office in London got there after it had been closed for the night. He had no key and could not get in.
One clerk, working at night, was up in the fourth floor in a closed office and could not hear the knocking at the door downstairs. He came up with an ingenious idea.
He went to the telegraph office and sent a message to the Edinburgh office telling them of his situation. Then he returned to the building to wait at the entrance door. In less than twenty minutes he was upstairs at his desk typing.
Please notice this: The shortest way to get at the man in the fourth story was by the way of Edinburgh.
Please notice this even more: The shortest way to God is by that offending brother or sister’s house.