Religion & Spirituality:Christianity
Think Spot 1 October 2018
Matthew 6:14-15 “For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.”
God takes the forgiveness of others very seriously. Notice it does NOT say forgive others if they are sorry for hurting you, or forgive others if you can understand why they behaved in that way. We are to forgive everyone who has wronged us full stop.
Matthew 18:21-22 “Peter came to Jesus and asked, ‘Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?’ Jesus answered, ‘I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.’” Jesus meant that we have to go on forgiving someone who hurts us again and again… No matter how many times they hurt us.
Forgiving someone means not telling others what they did to us so we can get sympathy. It means doing good things for them, praying for them blessing them. Matt 5:44 says “Love your enemies and pray for your persecutors.” Luke 6:35 says “Love your enemies, do good to them” and Romans 12:20 commands “If your enemy is hungry feed him.”
If someone has hurt you so badly that you find yourself replaying what they did in your mind. Try thinking of something kind that the person has done for you, every time their misdemeanour pops into your thinking. If that is not possible, then just actively think about something completely different. It will get to the point that you can think of the person without thinking of what they did, though this can take years.
Actually, like every other thing that God asks us to do, forgiving others is in our best interests. Being angry with someone else just hurts us – it doesn’t affect the other person at all. Not forgiving leads to bitterness and resentment which eats away at us from within and can lead to physical symptoms as well. Forgiving others should be a priority if you’re a Christian.
Father, thank you that you were and are willing to forgive us for the wrongs we have done against you. Help us with the power of the Holy Spirit to forgive us and also may we be willing to forgive ourselves and accept the forgiveness of others. Thank you for the cross of your Son, Jesus Christ, so that forgiveness is possible. We ask these things through the name of the Son, Jesus. Amen.
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