Thursday, October 11, 2012
Pencils come in all shapes, sizes, designs, and colors. One end is used to write; the other to erase our mistakes. I make lots of mistakes, so the eraser end of my pencils have worn thin. People are a lot like pencils. We come in all shapes, sizes, designs, and colors, and we all make mistakes. Fortunately, God sent his son to die for us and erase our mistakes. He wants to forgive us and he will over and over. But he wants us to ask for his forgiveness.
Then he expects us to forgive others ---over and over and over. When Peter asked Jesus how many times we should forgive, Jesus said seven times seventy. I believe Jesus used that huge number because he knew that we would eventually lose count and keep forgiving people over and over.\
But, what does it mean to forgive others?
When you forgive another person, you no longer allow their behavior to cause you anger, pain, bitterness, or resentment. When you choose not to forgive, you make the choice to hold on to your feelings of resentment, anger, and pain.
Forgiving another does not mean you will never again feel the pain or remember the thing that hurt you. The hurtful experience will be in your memory forever. By forgiving, you are not pretending the hurtful behavior never happened. It did happen. The important thing is to learn from it while letting go of the painful feelings.
Forgiveness is not about right or wrong. It doesn’t mean that the person’s behavior was okay. You are not excusing their behavior or giving permission for the behavior to be repeated or continued.
When you forgive another, it does not mean you wish to continue your relationship with them. This is a separate decision. You can forgive a person and live your life apart from them.
Let us accept God's forgiveness and then extend that to others - over and over again.
Matthew 6:14 For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.