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CHOOSE TO FORGIVE... EVEN MORE THAN ONCE
In Matthew 18:21-22 we read:
"Then Peter came and said to Him, '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
We have all read these two verses. And we've heard sermons on these two verses.
We are usually instructed to forgive no matter what.
We are also instructed to forgive the same person every time they do something against us, for God forgave us all the sins we committed against Him.
That is true, but the other day I read a blog by Trisha Davis. In 2005 her husband, Justin, told her he was cheating on her with her best friend.
She writes this about Matthew 18:21-22: "Forgiveness doesn't excuse your husband's behaviour; forgiveness prevents his behaviour from destroying your heart. Jesus tells us in Matthew 18:20-21 that we have to forgive 70 x 7, not because it's a mathematical equation but because just like grief, forgiveness is a process. You may have to choose to forgive over and over. Forgiveness is free, trust is earned. But just as trust is the currency of a relationship, forgiveness is where we find our footing to begin to stand."
Forgiveness is a process. You may have to choose to forgive over and over.
There are some things people do to us that aren't that big of a deal to forgive. You choose to forgive, you forgive and you put it behind you. You almost never think about it again.
But then there are other things that are more difficult to forgive.
Like when your husband or wife cheats on you.
In this case forgiveness will definitely be a process.
Know that Satan will come against you and he will remind you of that hurt.
He will even try to make it much bigger than it is, and if you give in and keep thinking on it, that is exactly what will happen - the hurt will become bigger and bigger.
But if you choose to forgive, to say, 'No, I have already forgiven him for hurting me, and I will not go back and think about it,' you will give the Lord the opportunity to heal you little by little and make you whole again.
The wonderful thing is we don't have to forgive in our own strength.
The Lord wants us to lean on Him to help us forgive.
He wants us to trust Him to give us the strength to keep on forgiving even when it is difficult.
He has given us His Holy Spirit to dwell in us and to help us live life His way.
That includes forgiving when forgiveness is needed.
Is there someone in your life you need to forgive?
Lean on the Lord to help you do that.
Remember, it is a process, but the Lord will help you forgive and He will make you whole again.
Just give Him the opportunity.