We need to forgive those who have offended us no matter what they’ve done. The Bible tells us to forgive each other, to lift up each other and to exalt each other. But when someone has done something to us and brought us much pain we tend to not forgive them because we are offended and they haven’t done anything to right the wrong they did.
When Peter asked Jesus how many times we should forgive others, He answered, “seventy times seven” (Matt. 18:22). What does that mean? We forgive 490 times and then we’re done? No. The Biblical meaning of the number seven is “fullness, completion, and perfection”. And so what Jesus is saying is that we continue to forgive until we don’t need to forgive any more.
Why is forgiveness so important?
Why do we have to forgive someone over and over when they continue to do the things that offend us? They don’t care that they’re being offensive towards us. Some people do things ignorantly to bother us and others do them deliberately to offend us. Why do we have to forgive them when we know they’re just going to do it again and again? They don’t mean sorry when they say it so why should we bother forgiving them? And what does this have to do with us standing in faith when it’s them being offensive to us?
Our thinking is wrong when we analyze the reason for forgiving someone before we choose to forgive them. We need to be careful that we’re not judging them and deciding whether or not they’re deserving of being forgiven. And sadly, many of us do that.
God is still on the thrown. He is the ONLY Lord and Judge over us. He never asked us to judge anyone, just to forgive them. It’s not for their sake that we forgive others, but for our sake.
Unforgiveness separates us from God.
Forgiving allows us to release that bad feeling and get rid of the negative issues that we have about someone. Forgiving is a cleansing process for our own hearts so God can forgive us and we can be pure before Him. And then He will bless us because we’re coming to Him with a clean heart.
Forgiving someone means coming to God and asking Him to wash our hearts of unforgiveness, to cleanse us from this sin and to fill us with His Spirit so that we can be made whole. It means not thinking or talking negative about the person who had offended us, and it means not bringing it up to them and making an issue of it. We have cast it aside and it’s gone. It means acting towards that person as if there never was an offence. It means removing the blemish from our own hearts so that now we are pure and filled with His righteousness.
And NOW we can take that stand of faith and know that God is with us!
“And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive them, so that your Father in Heaven may also forgive you your trespasses” …Matt.11:25
Michael English sings a beautiful song called, Please Forgive Me. Listen to it and be blessed.