Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?” Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.
I think out of all of the things that Jesus asks us to do, this is the hardest one to do, offer forgiveness for an offense towards us.
To forgive means to pardon, to release the offense done to you and send it away. Yet it somehow feels good to be able to think about the offense, justify to yourself why you should feel mad at the other person and why they should pay for what they have done to us.
This is not God’s way however, and when one of the disciples asked Jesus how many times they could forgive someone, he replied seventy seven times, that is a lot, at least with seven times we can think to ourselves, well, they have not shaped up by time number seven so now I can justifiably hate or excommunicate them. The problem with not forgiving another person is this, we open a door that allows bitterness and strife to enter our hearts towards that person, and then the next thing we know we are gossiping and slandering them, feeling justified in our actions.
The bible is very clear, that this kind of attitude is of the flesh and of the old man, but the man that is controlled by the spirit, and who desires to obey God, must not only imitate God but we need to live a life of love for our brothers and sisters, just as Christ has loved us and has given himself up as an offering to God for our sins.
When we are harboring un -forgiveness, we are no longer kind, compassionate and full of mercy towards those around us, instead we are driven by our pride to be right. Therefore my prayer for you today is that if you know that there are people that you need to forgive, that right now you would ask the Lord to help you to do that, out of obedience to him. Jesus has forgiven you of your sins and will never hold them against you ever again; therefore he requires that we do the same for the people around us.
Filed under: Devotionals