Forgiveness – Forgiving and Forgetting is Necessary
Forgiveness is so very important in the life of every man, woman, boy, and girl. While everyone wants to be forgiven, not all are willing to forgive. Some might say forgiving others is easier said than done, while others tend to think that forgiveness should be earned. Jesus taught His disciples many valuable lessons, and one was on forgiveness. In Matthew 6:12, Jesus taught His disciples by saying: “And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.” In this passage Jesus stressed to His disciples the importance on forgiveness and He says: as you pray to the Father and as you ask Him to forgive, excuse, and pardon your debt, your sin, your wrong doing, just as you forgive, excuse, pardon those who have sinned and committed an offense against you.
What Jesus Said
When you ask for forgiveness, you’re acknowledging that the only way to be pardoned and have your sins washed away is through the shed blood of Jesus Christ. In essence Jesus is saying, the same way that you forgive others is the same way the Father will forgive you. If you merely say with your lips that you forgive someone of an offense done against you, but your heart really doesn’t mean it (because God already knows the intent of the heart), then God won’t forgive you. If you are not willing to totally forgive others, then you can’t expect God to forgive you. For with the same love, compassion, and mercy that you extend in forgiving others, that is the same love, compassion, and mercy that God will extend to you. So, when you decide to hold a grudge, seek revenge, and withhold forgiveness, just know that your Heavenly Father will NOT forgive you!
Forgiving Without Forgetting Isn’t Forgiving
Stop saying: “I forgive you, but I won’t forget what you’ve done”, because that’s not true forgiveness. Forgive in the same way God has forgiven you…He doesn’t remember nor does He bring up the wrongs that you’ve done. True forgiveness is a heart thing. In Matthew 18:21-22, Peter asked Jesus a very important question: “Then came Peter to Him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times? Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven.”
Apostle Peter wanted to know just how many times should he forgive someone who has sinned against him? Peter asked Jesus do I forgive him seven times? In Peter’s mind seven times was a lot, but Jesus’ reply must have come as a shock to Peter. Jesus said not seven times, but you are to forgive that person seventy times seven (490 times). Four hundred and ninety seems a bit much, but Jesus wanted Peter to understand that no matter how often someone sins against him, as often as they repent, and as often as the opportunity presents itself, he must forgive. All day and everyday of our lives we should be ready and willing to forgive those that do us wrong.
As often as they acknowledge and repent of their wrong doing, that’s how often we should forgive. There’s no need to keep count, just keep on forgiving. As believers in Christ, we should stand ready to forgive others, because we ourselves have been forgiven. It may not always be easy to forgive, but remember the wrong that has been done to you, has been committed against God a thousand times over. So if God can forgive, then surely we can too!