Forgiveness

Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?” Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times. (Matthew 18:21-22)

We talked about forgiving others as Christ forgave us, and how difficult this can be. When forgiving, we must remember that we cannot fully forgive anyone in our own power. We can only truly forgive someone through the power of the Holy Spirit within us.

Scripture tells us: If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9)

The only way to be forgiven is through God. You can't forgive yourself. These are a few quick things about forgiveness:

1). God forgives.
2). When God forgives, He forgets!
3). You don't need to forgive yourself.

First of all, you don't have the ability to forgive. Secondly, you are already forgiven if you have come to Christ. I have heard people say over and over again, “You just need to forgive yourself.” You don't have the ability to forgive yourself. You have the ability to place guilt on yourself and to shame other people, but you don't have the ability to forgive yourself. For this reason, I share the Word of God with you. You need to change your way of viewing things and start thinking like God.

Picture yourself (if you have come to Christ) already forgiven. This is very important, so don't forget it.

God wants us to lean on Him and trust Him to give us the power and the ability to completely let go and move forward. We do this by acknowledging our weakness and our inability to forgive on our own. We must exercise humility and surrender to the Lord, reminding ourselves just how much we need Him.

When talking about forgiveness, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “Forgiveness is not an occasional act, it is a constant attitude.” In other words, forgiveness should never stop. Jesus made this clear in His conversation with Peter in Matthew Chapter 18. Don’t forget, God is constantly forgiving you. Therefore, we need to be in the process of constantly forgiving everyone else. The only way we can do this is to lean upon the Lord to give us the power to do so.

I encourage you today to spend time in prayer with your Heavenly Father. Acknowledge that you can’t fully forgive in your own power. Ask the Lord to help you exercise forgiveness with His guidance; and see how He will do an amazing work of restoration in your life.

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