Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Unlimited Forgiveness

It's interesting that Peter asked Jesus a question about how many times he is supposed to forgive someone who sins against him but without waiting for an answer, he immediately offered his own suggestion (7 times). It seems he's sure there should be a limit (he probably thought he was generous with his number). Jesus clarifies that in essence, there's no limit. We must forgive indefinitely. Love "keeps no record of wrongs!" (1 Corinthians 13:5b) That means no counting...no keeping track of offenses. It means seeking no revenge and having no resentment. Consider how much God has forgiven you and me. Countless times, right? Go and do likewise. Compared to the extent and degree of offenses we've committed against God (how enormous our debts to God are), whatever offenses done to us by others are puny. Yet, we have trouble forgiving them. True forgiveness from the heart is not easy, specially if the same offender keeps repeating the same offense over and over again. We need the Holy Spirit's help to enable us to offer forgiveness over and over again. May we treat others with the measureless grace and mercy that God has poured out upon us! Live forgiven and live to forgive readily!

P.S. Some commentaries state that we are to forgive only those who repent and ask for forgiveness since God forgives only when we repent of our sin. I personally believe our forgiveness should not only be unlimited but also unconditional. It's for our own good (health and peace of mind) and it's for God's glory. I believe we should forgive anyone about anything, regardless of whether the offender acknowledges his/her wrongdoing or asks for forgiveness or not. "Forgiveness doesn't excuse their behavior. Forgiveness prevents their behavior from destroying our heart." (Unknown) "To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that the prisoner was you." (Lewis B. Smedes) "We don't forgive people because they deserve it. We forgive them because they need it--because we need it." (Bree Despain) There is freedom that comes through forgiving others! When we choose to/are willing to forgive, we move away from the hurts towards the healing.

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