Yes, I know I got the popular phrase backwards, but this way makes more sense in my battle over forgiveness. I either forgive and forget, or I forget to forgive. I simply ignore any talk or thoughts about the situation/offender so I do not HAVE to forgive, or I promise to make it a matter for a later time. This only breeds bitterness and hinders my walk with the Lord. And until I get it taken care of, it is a big stumbling block.
Can I justify myself in not forgiving? Are there certain acts that are unforgivable among men? The answer is no. But what if they said...? No! But what if the hurt caused...? No! You mean I have to forgive for every offense? YES!!!
We have all been hurt and some extreme cases are life altering. But God's Word does not make any exceptions when we are called to forgive. There is no limit on how many times we are to forgive, or for what offenses we are to forgive.
Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft 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.
And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought 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.
This does not just apply to brothers and sisters in Christ, this applies to everyone. Christ died that we ALL might be forgiven. And no matter how great the offense against us, it is nothing compared to the debt we owe God. If we don't look at forgiveness from God's perspective, we are limiting the great work done for us by His Son, Jesus Christ.
I have seen parents of murdered children forgive those responsible. I have 5 children and I have a very hard time thinking about this. But if we are truly becoming like Christ, this is the kind of forgiveness we ought to have. Even the situations we might think are unforgivable, still don't compare to the forgiveness of our Heavenly Father. No forgiveness is greater then His for us.
By His grace and mercy, not only are we able to be forgiven our debts, but we are also able to forgive those who deal wrongly with us. No matter how hard we think it is to forgive, we MUST forgive. Ask the Lord for the strength, compassion and heart to forgive. I know it is hard for us at times, but by God's grace, we can do it.
Praise God for His mercy and forgiveness!
Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.