Matthew 18:21-22 21
Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times? 22Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven.
It's easier said than done, I know. Just recently I have noticed a sour taste in my mouth when hearing a certain someones name or when seeing them. I realized when I would tell myself I forgave them, they were just words being spoken. There was no forgiveness behind the word "forgiven". Why is it so hard? My flesh wants me to vindicate myself, but I already know God is my vindicator (1). This person is still hurting me though they don't know that I know. It's so much easier to say people are forgiven even to think that we have forgiven them....But if you can replay situations over and over, if you see the person or hear their names and remember what they did, if you get a sour taste in your mouth when you think of them.. Chances are you honestly haven't forgiven them.
Last night I was thinking about Jesus. How we are called to strive to be like Him. How He is in us and how I want Him to shine through me. I thought of all the people He forgave and is still forgiving. The things He went through and what people did to Him yet He still forgave them. His friend betrayed Him!!! His other friend denied even knowing Him! He was mocked, spit on and tortured!!! Yet, He still forgave...... To this day mockers of Jesus are still around, people who had relationships with Him that turn their back on Him. If they ask for forgiveness He WILL forgive!! Wouldn't it be upsetting if He just said we were forgiven, but then remember everything we have done to hurt him every time he sees us?
How much more forgiving do we need to be? I realized if we don't forgive bitterness forms in our hearts. We haven't truly left this person and situation at the foot of the cross. We need to hand it over to God and let Him deal with our hurts and fill that part of us that was sour. All the wondering why and what made this person say the things they did eats at me. I remember people are going to hate me because of He who is in me, since they hated Him first (2)(3). Maybe that should be a compliment :) We serve an awesome God who just doesn't say we are forgiven, but actually forgives us when we come to Him and ask. He doesn't dwell on the things we asked to be forgiven of. They are no more to Him. Gone and we are as white as snow with not one blemish. Wouldn't it be nice if we could forgiven all the wrong doings to us like how He forgives us? I know He said that if I don't forgive He won't forgive me. That's were my flesh kicks in since I want to forgive I truly do.
Before I was saved I had a rough bringing up. I won't even go into details since I honestly forgave them and even pray for their souls and want them to make heaven their home. I honestly love them. When I gave my life to Jesus I forgave them all and when I think of what happened to me for all those years not one taste of sour in my mouth. :) The hurt I'm talking about is after giving my life to Christ. I think it hurts so much is because they should know better and the things they have said were awful :( (4). They are brethren. I've gone out of my way to be super nice to them. Then I thought of my motives. I wanted them to feel super bad and that wasn't right either. I don't go around saying so and so did this and said this. My husband knows of course, but as a woman of God I don't need to point them out. I'm on fire for God and He is in everything I talk about. I wonder if that's why..Do I get on their nerves? See.....there I go again. I need to stop wondering and accept it. It happened, still is and all I can do is pray for conviction and softening of hearts.
Forgiveness is so important, like I said when we don't forgive it turns to bitterness (5). Also, when we stand before God on Judgement day those people that have done us wrong aren't going to be there. It's no longer going to matter and they aren't important in our walks. Are we losing our First Love and flooding our thoughts with past situations and hurts.. if so we are pushing our First Love further and further out of our minds (6). Writing this has been convicting for me as well as eye opening. I'm glad I'm not so into myself (feeling sorry) that I missed God speaking to me!(7)(8)
(1)Isaiah 54:17 17 no weapon forged against you will prevail,and you will refute every tongue that accuses you.This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and this is their vindication from me,”declares the LORD.
(2) Matthew 10:22
22And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.
(3) John 15:18-20
18 “If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. 19 If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. 20 Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you. If they kept My word, they will keep yours also.
(4) Matthew 15:18-20 18But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man.19For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies:20These are the things which defile a man: but to eat with unwashen hands defileth not a man.
(5) Proverbs 14:10 10The heart knows its own bitterness,And a stranger does not share its joy.
(6) Revelation 2:4 4Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love.
(7) Acts 22:14 14 Then he said, ‘The God of our fathers has chosen you that you should know His will, and see the Just One, and hear the voice of His mouth.
(8) Isaiah 30:21 21And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left.