Walking Forgiveness - Just A Thought #47

I have been thinking about forgiveness a quite a bit lately. What does it look like? Am I living out my faith and forgiving those who I feel have wronged me? Am I following the commands of Jesus to forgive "seventy times seven?"

One thing I know for sure and that is, "In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace," (Ephesians 1:7)

If His blood can wash away my sins and He has shown me His amazing grace, how can I then judge others for the wrong they have done to me?

Jesus himself asked God to forgive those who were crucifying Him! "And Jesus said, "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do." And they cast lots to divide his garments." (Luke 23:34)

Of course I am not Jesus and I'll tell you what, it is hard to forgive someone who has burned you...sometimes more than once. I have struggled with forgiveness more than I care to remember. I can relate to Peter asking Jesus how often we should forgive someone...and in the past, found the response of Jesus hard to swallow. "Then Peter came up and said to him, "Lord, how often will my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?" Jesus said to him, "I do not say to you seven times, but seventy times seven." (Matthew 18:21-22) Jesus makes it pretty clear here that there is no cap on forgiveness. He is still forgiving those who were never born when He was crucified!

Forgiveness is made even more clear to me when I see these verses in Mark: "And whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses." [But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father who is in heaven forgive your trespasses.] (Mark 11:25-26) This sounds like we shouldn't be holding grudges....it says if YOU have anything against anyone, FORGIVE!

Sometimes offering forgiveness means we actually have to humble ourselves and let go of our pride! The "I am in the right and justified" attitude just doesn't cut it. Neither does taking on the offense of others.

In this world we are going to get hurt, stepped on and abused! Do we let the enemy rob our joy or do we humble ourselves in the sight of the Lord and remember that He forgave us much, so how much more should we forgive others? I know, you've been hurt badly...so was Jesus. I know you were in the right...so was Jesus. You have every reason to be angry...so did Jesus.

Yet He chose to die so that you AND the person who hurt you could experience His forgiveness.

I'll leave you with 2 verses I am chewing on right now. May they speak to you as you think on this topic.

Romans 12:18, "If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all."

James 1:19, "Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger;"

Are you walking out forgiveness?

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