It is one thing when someone treats us badly. It is another thing altogether when the same person treats us badly AGAIN – and AGAIN. Don’t you agree? Can you relate to these thoughts? I will forgive him ONCE. Okay, maybe TWICE. But I will NOT forgive him again! No way! He doesn’t deserve it! I don’t have to forgive him! I shouldn’t have to forgive him! This is ridiculous! This is wrong! Enough is enough! This is the last straw. I am DONE forgiving him! Sound familiar?
Truth is it really doesn’t matter what you and I think about forgiveness. It matters what THE LORD JESUS CHRIST SAYS – and COMMANDS – ABOUT FORGIVENESS:
“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.” Matthew 18:21-22 NKJV
Now please DO NOT misunderstand. God may lead us to end an ungodly friendship. He may tell us to quit a job where we are being treated abusively. He may lead us to distance ourselves from a family member for a season to protect us from harm.
Forgiveness DOES NOT mean that God in all cases wants us to stay in the situation, relationship, circumstances, etc. On the other hand, He may very well want us to stay and to love and help the other person, to grow and be tested, to be refined, to keep the commitment we made, etc. WHETHER WE STAY OR GO SHOULD BE BASED SOLELY ON GOD’S WILL FOR US.
But regardless of how He leads us, WE MUST FORGIVE. How often? Over and again – and again and again! As often as the opportunity arises, we need to forgive!
But isn’t forgiveness impossible in some cases? No! God will enable and equip us by the love and power of His Holy Spirit who lives in His followers to obey Him in all things – forgiveness included!
Have some forgiving to do? Please – FORGIVE!