What is forgiveness? Recently, I realized I didn’t really know what it means or how to forgive. So, I opened up His Word to see what He had to say about it.
“and forgive us our debts as we also forgive our debtors.” (Matthew 6:12)
He forgave us our debts, the sin that separates us from relationship with Him, a debt that could only be satisfied by the death of His son. Because He forgave, we are called to forgive.
“Lord, how often will my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?”…”I do not say to you seven times, but seventy times seven”… (Matthew 18:21-22)
When Peter asked Jesus how often He was supposed to forgive, he thought he was being generous in saying seven, since the Jewish custom was to forgive someone three times. But Jesus says we are to forgive seventy times seven times…or continually forgive someone no matter how many times they grieve us. Because He forgave us even when we didn’t repent, even though we continue to sin, He still forgives us over and over.
“Judge not and you will not be judged; condemn not and you will not be condemned, forgive and you will be forgiven…For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you.” (Luke 6:37-38)
God wants us to have an attitude of forgive, to not harbor anger and continue to hold something against another. For, when we continually forgive, continually seek the best in people, He will richly bless us.
“And Jesus said, ‘Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.’” (Luke 23:34a)
If Jesus could forgive those who nailed Him to the cross, those who didn’t fully understand who He was…which in reality is me and you and every human being who walked this earth…how much more should I forgive others?
“bearing with one another and if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you so you also must forgive.” (Colossians 3:13)
How can I not forgive another, when, by His grace and mercy, I have been given way more than I deserve through His blood?
So, we must forgive because He first forgave, because we received that same forgiveness at the cross. In forgiveness, we set our debtors free from their debt…and set our own hearts free from the anger and bitterness that result from un-forgiveness.
Are you holding onto anger or bitterness that needs to be released in forgiveness? Pray that He would set you free from that anger and bitterness and help your heart to forgive and remember that your debtor is a sinner just like you whose sins were nailed to the cross at Calvary.
By: Stephanie Hanes, The Hanes Family ChroniclesLeave a Comment
I have often thought that it was too much for me… that God would ask me to be continually forgiving of the person who continually ‘sins’ against me…but now I see that is what I ask from Him, to forgive my sins continually. He will give me what I need to do what He asks me to do! Thank you for this reminder, I needed it today!
Oh, it is such a hard thing to do, isn’t it? I still have to remind myself that, because He forgave me, I CAN forgive others. Sometimes my head gets it, but my heart doesn’t want to listen. Praying for you, sweet Karen!
Danelle Townsend says
Stephanie, I can’t thank you enough for this post. I have been struggling w/ forgiving someone who has hurt me immensely. This is exactly what I needed to hear. How can I not forgive when I have been completely forgiven?! Thank you. Thank you. Many blessings my sister in Christ.
Oh, I’m so glad these words spoke to your heart as much as they did to my own. It IS hard to forgive – sometimes my head gets it, but my heart doesn’t want to listen. Praying for you, sweet friend!
Amy Hunt says
Forgiveness is really for us…it helps us to live free in the most amazing way!
Rich blessings, Stephanie, as your true-living speaks encouragement to others…
Thank you Stephanie… I’m in a healing process and truly needed this. I solicit your agreement in prayer for discovery and recovery from a callous heart. That I never truly knew existed until my sister in Christ nonchalantly told me. Who knew…. and how long has this been here? I don’t have the answers to those questions but I do know that God has already begun to starring moving ne through it. Gotta love my Jesus!
Amy Sullivan says
So over the last few months, I’ve really been praying about forgiveness, not because I have some big wrong I need to learn how to forgive, but because I simply have no idea how to forgive!
And then, BAM! Everywhere I go, everywhere I click, everything I read has been focused on forgiveness. I’m starting to learn…s-l-o-w-l-y.