Sheep are vulnerable to internal parasites and worms that can take away their vitality and even kill them. In a flock of sheep, worms can spread quickly from sheep to sheep. A good shepherd “de-worms” his sheep with cures that must all be eaten; they are not injected or applied to the skin.
We servants of the Lord can be vulnerable to the parasites of anger and bitterness that kill the spiritual life of the believer. Our bitterness can spread quickly from one of the Lord’s sheep to another. Ingesting and obeying the Word of God, whether we feel like it or not, is the cure for the worms of bitterness and resentment that we might harbor in our hearts.
Luke 11:4 “And forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who is indebted to us.”
Our forgiveness from our heavenly Father for our sins is directly linked to our forgiveness of others. How can we ask to be forgiven when we have not forgiven? We must wipe the slate clean towards others as our slate has been wiped clean by Jesus.
Forgiveness is not a feeling that you suddenly WANT to forgive, like, “Today, I woke up and I feel like I want to forgive everyone.” It is a choice we make to obey the Word of God by putting aside our hurt and anger. Having forgiven, we must also take action to be kind and tenderhearted as the shepherd has been to us.
Ephesians 4:31-32 Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.
Get those parasites out of your belly! Put them to death before they spread to others! Ingest the word of God and obey it and forgive one another even as God in Christ forgave you. That is the medicine, there is no other.
There is life changing power in obeying this, in complete forgiveness for offenses just as we were completely forgiven by Christ.