Let me first start of by saying that there is freedom in forgiveness. However, forgiveness is not always easy. Forgiveness is something I have struggled with since the age of 8. For a long time I practiced “I’ll forgive, but I won’t forget.” I would tell you it straight that I was a master at holding a grudge.
Eventually I slowly learned, 12 years later actually that truly forgiving was the only thing that would bring me freedom. I often wonder why it is so difficult to forgive others when Christ has forgiven me for my sins.
In Matthew 18:21-35, Jesus tells Peter the parable of the unforgiving servant. In this parable, Peter asks Jesus how often he should forgive a brother that sins against him. Peter’s initial guess is seven times. However, Jesus challenges Peter by saying, “I do not say to you seven times, but seventy-seven times.” In other words, Jesus wants us to always forgive others without limitation. Jesus ends the parable by saying that if we fail to forgive others, then God will treat us like the master treated the unforgiving servant in verses 34-35.
The concept of relentless forgiveness seems foreign in our culture and society in America. So many movies and television shows glamorize revenge. However, revenge is the complete opposite of what the bible teaches. The Bible teaches us that we are not to take revenge on others because vengeance is the Lord’s (Deuteronomy 32:35, Romans 12:19).
Something else that I recently have struggled with is forgiving those who don’t ask us for forgiveness or even apologize to us. I have tried the brush it off concept, and yes that works for a period of time, but eventually it starts to stick. Sometimes you have to sit and address your stubborn heart by praying and reading God’s word. God uses that one on one time to soften our hearts and to remind us that He has shown us the greatest form of forgiveness.
In Psalm 103:10-12 God’s forgiveness is painted beautifully, It says: “He does not deal with us according to our sins, nor repay us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us.” God does not show bitterness towards us when we repent. He wipes our slate clean. He simply forgives.
I think to me I know forgiveness is not always something I have to do, or even want to do, but I know that it is something I MUST do.
Let’s look at Ephesians 4:31-32
“Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.”
Ask yourself this question?
Do you find yourself limiting your forgiveness? Is there a specific person it is harder to forgive?
This question rings true to me, sometimes there are specific people that are harder to forgive. But as Christians we want people to know Jesus. Forgiveness is the best way to show them that you forgive because you have a forgiving God and that they aren’t as far away from Him as they think. In fact, He is ready to welcome them home as soon as possible (Check out the prodigal son in Luke 15!) Sometimes those that hurt you, might be overwhelmed by excessive sorrow. That’s why we should reaffirm our love for them and forgive. Show God’s grace and love.
Forgiveness is not easy, it is one of the hardest realities we face on Earth. But that is why Jesus died on the cross for our sins to set us free and to overcome it.
Your Forgiveness will affect generations to come.
Forgiveness is choosing mercy, and not retaliation.
When you have forgiven the other person, you have the upper hand. Not over them but over the devil’s advantage in your life. (2 Corinthians 2:11)
Hi there, I'm Sarah. I'm a writer, speaker, wife, daughter, and most importantly, a sister and friend. My hope is that through blogs, and my posts you will leave here encouraged and know that you were created with a Purpose.