Matthew 18:21-22 “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.”
Peter’s question to Jesus here I believe reflects the heart of many of us. In this world we will be wronged often times, and probably many times in a day, however it is very important that we learn to forgive. Forgiveness is not just a suggestion that it to our own benefit but it is a commandment. With every commandment obeyed, there is a blessing that follows. Jesus commanded that we forgive offenders up to 490 times in a day! This means if a person sins once every 3 mins in the next 24hrs we are to forgive…this is without any sleep! You say ‘well this was not a commandment’. Paul in his letter to the Colossian church clarifies this “12 Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering;13 bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do.” Colossians 3:12-13
The only way this ability to forgive is possible is because we who believe in Christ are made in His likeness. He says we ought to forgive like Christ forgave us. Christ is God, and through the New Birth we have the love nature of God on the inside of us, and it is required of us to forgive every time. As a Christian, holding a grudge against another is never the right thing to do. We ought to make a lifestylye of quick forgiveness. ‘But you don’t know what they did to me…’ I need not know, but I must train my emotions to line up with God’s word.
Forgiveness is an act of faith. This means it takes meditating God’s word (Rom.10:17), and acting accordingly (Jam.2:17), irrespective of all contrary sensory evidence (Heb.11:1, 2 Cor.5:7), doing this while speaking what you believe (Mark 11:22-23, 2 Cor.4:13). So what do you do? Let God’s word on love and forgiveness fill up your heart, and if you’ve been wronged, don’t wait till it feels good. Go ahead and declare you have forgiven, based on the reality of God’s word in your heart. The pain may still be there, but keep declaring your love and forgiveness for the offender. Eventually your emotions will line up, besides that the corresponding blessings of the Lord will overtake you.
Scriptures to Meditate: Rom.12:19-20, Col.3:12-16, 1 Cor. 13:4-8, Lev.19:17, Mark.11:24, Luk 11:4