Forgiveness is one of the hardest things for us to do for ourselves, and for others. You might say, “I just can’t forgive, it hurts too much”. To forgive seems to go beyond our natural capabilities. When we have been wronged by someone, a barrier is formed in our hearts. We put up a wall to the offense that hinders us from forgetting, letting go, and moving on.
70 x 7 is synonymous with God’s eternal plan for forgiveness. In the new King James version of the Bible, Matthew 18:21-22 reads: “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.’”
How merciful it was for Jesus to correct Peter, who had extended that number to seven thinking that was more than fair. The reply Jesus gave Peter explains the depth of true forgiveness. Jesus meant we are not to limit forgiveness to a specific number, but that we need to forgive endlessly. Jesus said we should forgive unconditionally. In contrast, humans put conditions on forgiveness. Colossians 3:13 says:
Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord has forgiven you.
God is telling us not only to forgive unconditionally but to do it with love and affection. You might think, where does it say that? I didn’t get that message. But we are clearly being told to forgive each other as the Lord has forgiven each of us. That is powerful and means that we must humble ourselves to the max, just like Christ did when He came to earth as a mortal human.
We must set aside the miseries and feelings of our hearts, rather than allow ourselves to be dictated by them. We must learn how to truly forgive those who hurt and offend us by giving them back our love. That means leaving ourselves wide open and vulnerable to forgive.
Throughout our lives, we can become hardened. We may feel we are incapable of truly forgiving. But we have to take that step forward and “just do it” without thought or consideration. I remember learning to swim as a small child. My grandfather took me to a pond and told me to jump in. I said, “But I don’t know how to swim.” He replied, “just jump in, and you will learn.” So that’s exactly what I did—I just jumped in, and sure enough, I learned how to swim. This same principle can be applied to forgiveness. We can learn to forgive just by “jumping in.”
Sometimes we have to crash before we can allow God to wipe pain and sorrow from our hearts. It is our human nature to hold onto things that hurt us. But in letting go, we exercise total forgiveness.
In 2 Corinthians, 5:17, Paul explains the result of this kind of forgiveness: Therefore if anyone be in Christ, they are a new creature: old things are passed away; behold all things are become new.
When God forgives us by the blood of Jesus, we are restored to a sinless state in His eyes by the righteousness of Christ. We are restored to a righteous perfect working condition. All that we were is gone. We become brand new and redeemed by the blood of the Lamb.
When we believe upon Christ, and repent, we are forgiven at once, unconditionally. As a result of that forgiveness, we are reconciled with God in a new everlasting relationship with Him. Everything is made new and changes—the way we think, view things, act, walk and talk—everything is made new. We no longer see things as we did before—we gain a new perspective, from the eyes of our Redeemer. We are bathed in His righteousness, become fed by His Word, and are covered by His loving forgiveness.
In this new life we do not view people as we did before, but see them through the eyes of our Lord. When Christ humbled himself to the cross and laid down His life for us, He represented the ultimate example of forgiveness, that we in turn, receive the gift of forgiveness in each other. We are called to do the same.
Someone once asked me, “How much do you love me?” I replied, “Enough.” That person was somewhat taken back by my answer. But I explained that God loved us enough that He gave His own Son as the payment for our redemption. So when someone asks me, “How much does God love us – my answer is always “enough.
In the same way, we must love others enough to forgive them. In doing so, we will reap the benefits of the joy that true forgiveness brings, as we put into action the words of our Lord, “Forgive others as I have forgiven you.” Forgiveness is the greatest give given to us by God in the body of Christ poured out on Calvary, so jump in and experience forgiveness as it has been given to you and discover the joy that the Lord intends for your life.
- Forgiving Others Who Do Wrong (jesusnsports.wordpress.com)
- No Offense (warriorfortruthandcoffee.wordpress.com)