A Few Things I've Learned by Robin Dotson
In Matthew, Chapter 18, Jesus gives us much instruction for life. He talks about humbling ourselves as children; He warns us against temptation and how we should treat others. In verse 21, Peter asks Jesus how many times he should forgive someone who sins against him. Jesus has an answer for Peter …
Matthew 18: 21-22 - Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times? Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven.
Forgiveness is sometimes a difficult task. I think Peter thought surely seven times was pretty generous but Jesus told him to basically quit counting. Why is that? I think if we look at God's forgiveness to us, we can quickly see why Jesus said what He said.
Jeremiah 31:34 - And they shall teach no more every man his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the Lord: for I will forgive their iniquity and I will remember their sin no more.
Isaiah 1:18 - Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.
Mark 11:25-26 - And when ye shall stand praying, forgive, if ye have aught against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses. But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses.
There are many other verses in the Bible about God's timeless and countless forgiveness to us as believers. God commands us to ask for forgiveness from Him, others and to forgive those who ask in true repentance. So, why is forgiveness difficult? In thinking about it in my own life and how much forgiveness God has given me, should it be that difficult? Probably not!
A few things I have learned over the years about forgiveness.......
God freely gave us forgiveness through his son, Jesus.
God expects us to repent of our sins to be forgiven.
We should be mindful of making the same mistakes over and over if we truly repent of a specific sin.
The Bible is full of scriptures we can learn from on the topic of forgiveness.
As Christians, most of us know these basic facts about forgiveness. The following are a few more observations in my own life and my relationships with others.
The sooner I forgive someone who asks and the sooner I ask for forgiveness if I need to, the sooner I feel better about everything in my life.
I think as prideful humans we tend to always believe we are right and become defensive if someone challenges us. Over the years, I have learned that if I truly dig deep into my soul in a confrontational situation I can probably find that yes, I could have done things a little differently too.... not always easy to admit!
Human relationships are tough and happiness does not always equate with proving yourself right.... I think it could be very lonely.
Unexpected events happen in our lives that make us stop in our tracks and reflect on what is important. Forgiveness is very important!
Forgiveness is a choice we can make in the blink of an eye that can change our lives forever.
I don't want to look back on my life with bitterness, it's too precious and too short.
Jesus gave us the ultimate gift of forgiveness for eternal life but I also believe he gave us the gift of forgiveness to be able to navigate this life.
Ephesians 4:32 - and be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you.
How can we possibly be kind and tenderhearted to anyone if we ourselves have an unforgiving heart?
Back to Peter.....when I look at how many times I have asked God for forgiveness over my lifetime, somehow seventy times seven seems more attainable!
Remember, life and time are precious. Let’s not waste a precious second!