“For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.”
Matthew 6:14 KJV
Closely linked to man’s relationship with God is man’s relationship with fellow humans. Jesus had just taught his disciples about prayer, and one of the attributes of his model prayer is a request for God to forgive us, even as we forgive those who also offend us. It is my relationship with God that drives my relationship with other people. If the vertical is right, the horizontal will also be right.
So, I come to God, claiming He is my Father, taking time to pray and ask Him to bless me, yet I am not willing to let go of hurts and slights by fellow men, even my spouse! I am willing to receive forgiveness from God for the terrible things I have done, yet I am able to convince myself that other people do not deserve the same level of grace I have received. That is hypocrisy at its worst.
If I know the value of what I hold, it will be easy to let go of anything else if it means holding on to that precious thing. If my relationship with God is of value to me, nothing and nobody will be so important that I will have to let go of God to lay hold of it or them. And it is a function of choice; as always, God never forces Himself on anyone.
And lest you think you can deceive Him, remember He is the Creator of the heart. He knows honesty and hypocrisy when He sees either. Men may be fooled by outward piety, but God is moved by the contents of my heart. If I will walk with Him and walk into the benefits and blessings He has promised, my heart cannot afford multiple controllers. It has to be God, if it must end right.
And the law of sowing and reaping applies to all. God tells us what to expect from what we do. If I will live right and end well, I must watch my daily input and output. You can pray every hour, or have a great reputation with outsiders; what you sow into your walk with God is what you also reap from it.
You sow mercy, you reap multiple streams of mercy. If you sow malice and unforgiveness, just imagine the multiple streams of what you will be getting. Need a predetermined end? Start now to sow the right actions and responses. His time of favor is here.