"Then Peter Came To Him And Said, "Lord, How Often Shall My Brother Sin Against Me, And I Forgive Him? Up To Seven Times?
Jesus Said To Him, "I Do Not Say To You, Up To Seven Times, But Up To Seventy Times Seven."
490 times or enough times that you just lose count, because you are doing it so often.
I love this passage of Scripture and since the start of this Season in my life, it has come to mean more to me than almost any other Scripture.
Forgiveness is a very slow process, I have come to learn...
Just when you think that, perhaps you have reached the state of true forgiveness, something happens that reminds you, that while you aren't as angry as you were in the beginning, forgiveness is still out of reach.
The Bible teaches forgiveness in quite a few passages, it is as much for you as it is for the other person.
More so for you, for your walk, for your soul.
The answer in the above Scripture, given by Jesus to Peter, makes it clear that He knows forgiveness is not easy for us.
It is not a one-time choice, get on your knees, say "I forgive" and then think that you will automatically start to live in a complete state of forgiveness, if only it were that easy.
Forgiveness may require a lifetime of forgiving, but it is very important to our Heavenly Father.
We have to continue to forgive until the matter is settled within our own hearts.
Prayer is one of the best ways to knock down the walls of forgiveness, by asking, He will bless you with new eyes to see and a new heart to care for that person.
As you pray, you should start to see that person, as He sees them, and realize that the person is just as precious to Him, as you are (no matter how you "feel" emotionally).
A new light will also be shed upon you as well...
You will begin to realize that you are just as guilty of sin and failure as the other person, and that you are also in need of forgiveness.
If He doesn't keep His forgiveness from you, why should you keep your forgiveness from one that has hurt you?
So what about the anger you have?
How about the pain and hurt and feelings of betrayal?
What about the twinge of bitterness you may feel?
How about that feeling of revenge you had last time you saw the person?
While it is quite normal for us to feel unhappy emotions towards whatever the injustice is/was, it is never our job to judge the other person, plain and simple, that is His job, and He doesn't do it to us until we are dead, so why in the world do we feel we have a right to do it to others while we are alive?
Luke 6:37 ~ "Judge Not, And Ye Shall Not Be Judged: Condemn Not, And Ye Shall Not Be Condemned: Forgive, And Ye Shall Be Forgiven."
So why do we forgive?
That one is easy ~ He commands it.
Matthew 6:14-15 (NIV) ~ "For If You Forgive Other People When They Sin Against You, Your Heavenly Father Will Also Forgive You. But If You Do Not Forgive Others Their Sins, Your Father Will Not Forgive Your Sins."
If you don't do it for others, He will not do it for you.
Read that line again, now one more time. ~
Do you really want that on your head when you are standing before Him?
We are to forgive out of obedience to our Heavenly Father.
It is your choice, a decision you must make.
Trust me, I know it isn't easy, He knows it isn't easy, however it is in your best interest to do so.
You are only harming yourself.
You, and you alone are hindering your own prayers.
Mark 11:25 ~ "And When You Stand Praying, If You Hold Anything Against Anyone, Forgive Them, So That Your Father In Heaven May Forgive You Your Sins."
You will know that the work of forgiveness is done when you are able to truly experience the freedom that will come as a result.
You and I are the ones who will suffer the most if we choose to not forgive.
When we do obey and we set out to earnestly forgive, He will set our hearts free from the anger, bitterness, resentment, hate, revenge and hurt that previously held us shackled and bound.
Forgiveness goes against the basic core of our human nature.
It is an act that Jesus Christ was capable of, however when we are hurt by someone, we want justice, right then and there, swiftly served up on a silver platter.
We just don't seem to want to trust Him with that.
We are all wounded in one way or another, by words, by actions or sometimes, by both, some intentional and some accidental, none of us have walked through this life unscathed, yet He has given us a way to move forward, without carrying those burdens around with us.
Corpses ~ That is what G calls them, he is forever telling me to stop carrying around the corpse, cut the cord that attaches it to me and leave it right there.
You can't do that without forgiving.
After being betrayed, falsely convicted, horribly beaten, spit upon, and unjustly nailed to the Cross, to die a horrific death, Jesus, the Son of God, carried no hatred for His tormentors but instead, He offered them His forgiveness.
His first words from the Cross were "And Jesus Prayed, Father, Forgive Them, For They Know Not What They Do." Luke 23:34
Did they deserve His forgiveness after what they had just done?
No they didn't, however Jesus was kind and compassionate, even to the men who had just nailed Him to the Cross.
I will leave you with this:
Ephesians 4:31-32 ~ "Let All Bitterness, And Wrath, And Anger, And Clamour, And Evil Speaking, Be Put Away From You, With All Malice: And Be Ye Kind One To Another, Tenderhearted, Forgiving One Another, Even As God For Christ's Sake Hath Forgiven You."
7 Times 70 Times
I’ll Do What It Takes To Make It Right
I Thought The Pain Was Here To Stay
But Forgiveness Made A Way