Thursday, May 19, 2016

How Often Should We Forgive Someone Who Continually Hurts Us?

It's absurd how often we sin and fall short of God's glory.

Most times, it takes barely twenty hours after repentance before we are right back in our filth; making avoidable mistakes and failing at the same temptations.

After a few trips up and down Salvation Aisle, we (the sinners) get tired of asking for forgiveness and begin to think that God hates us.

Isn't it funny? That we, the sinners, are the ones who get tired of asking for and receiving forgiveness? We judge ourselves more harshly and flippantly than the good Lord does.

God has a different take on forgiveness and empathy than we do. When Jesus said in Matthew 18 that we should forgive others seventy times seven times, he really did mean it.

21 At that point Peter got up the nerve to ask, " Master, how many times do I forgive a brother or sister who hurts me? Seven?"
22 Jesus replied, "Seven! Hardly. Try seventy times seven. – Matthew 18:21-22: (MSG)

He meant we should never tire of forgiving any particular person, no matter how many times he/she made a mistake.

He meant that He knows that the human flesh is weak. And while mostly good-intentioned, we are not reliable or perfect.

He meant that we should understand that this is the way the flesh is (and thus how everyone is), and treat ourselves and other humans accordingly. 

He was saying that even though we are all pieces of shit who disappoint Him regularly, He still loves us and as long, as we offer forgiveness to the people who hurt us, He will offer forgiveness to us. 

This knowledge is so important that it's included in the Lord's Prayer:

"Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us." (Matthew 6:9-13)

We can't only forgive certain people, and stay mad at others. We must give forgiveness to all and sundry; and we must give it every single time, no matter how many times.

So the next time you're tempted to hold a grudge against someone, remember that God's forgiveness depends on this. 

Forgive others that God may forgive you too.

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