Our Relationship with Others: Day Nine

JANUARY 12TH, 2021      |       When Jesus admonished us to forgive “seventy times seven,” He was not putting a numeric value to how often we should forgive. He was referencing an Old Testament passage found in Genesis chapter 4. The story is of Lamech, a murderous descendant of Cain. His hunger for revenge was “seventy-seven-fold” (Gen 4:24). In scripture, seven is the number of perfection and completion. Jesus is saying, in effect, our desire to forgive should be greater than Lamech’s desire for complete revenge. Is this our heart toward forgiving others? Do you find it difficult to forgive? If you do, you are not alone. Forgiveness is not a natural act. It is supernatural. It is an invitation to an impossible, sacrificial, spiritual choice. Forgiveness is a beautiful yet challenging command initiated by God and modeled by Jesus. He is our reason why and our motivation to try. Forgiveness, like grace, is undeserved and freely given. It does not first require an apology. Romans 5:8 says, “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” It is something that cannot be given away until it has been received. So how do we do it? Here are three ways to be a forgiver: 1) Receive forgiveness yourself from God – first for salvation and then in regular confession of sin. 2) Choose it. Pray and ask for help, surrender yourself to the process, your pride and your right to be offended. 3) Develop a plan to respond to emotions and memories around the offense. (Consider 2 Cor. 10:5) Unforgiveness is fertile soil for the enemy and it disconnects us from our Source. Someone once said, “Unforgiveness is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.” Important to note: Forgiveness does not say the offense was “ok” and it does not mean you should enter into a relationship with the offender. Give yourself grace and space as you learn to extend forgiveness as Jesus did.

Our Relationship with God: Day Nine

Matthew 18:21-35, Matthew 6:9-15

Matthew 18:21-35, Matthew 6:9-15

When Jesus admonished us to forgive “seventy times seven,” He was not putting a numeric value to how often we should forgive. He was referencing an Old Testament passage found in Genesis chapter 4.

The story is of Lamech, a murderous descendant of Cain. His hunger for revenge was “seventy-seven-fold” (Gen 4:24). In scripture, seven is the number of perfection and completion. Jesus is saying, in effect, our desire to forgive should be greater than Lamech’s desire for complete revenge.

Is this our heart toward forgiving others? Do you find it difficult to forgive? If you do, you are not alone. Forgiveness is not a natural act. It is supernatural. It is an invitation to an impossible, sacrificial, spiritual choice. Forgiveness is a beautiful yet challenging command initiated by God and modeled by Jesus.

He is our reason why and our motivation to try. Forgiveness, like grace, is undeserved and freely given. It does not first require an apology. Romans 5:8 says, “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”

It is something that cannot be given away until it has been received. So how do we do it? Here are three ways to be a forgiver:

1) Receive forgiveness yourself from God – first for salvation and then in regular confession of sin.

2) Choose it. Pray and ask for help, surrender yourself to the process, your pride and your right to be offended.

3) Develop a plan to respond to emotions and memories around the offense. (Consider 2 Cor. 10:5) Unforgiveness is fertile soil for the enemy and it disconnects us from our Source.

Someone once said, “Unforgiveness is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.” Important to note: Forgiveness does not say the offense was “ok” and it does not mean you should enter into a relationship with the offender. Give yourself grace and space as you learn to extend forgiveness as Jesus did.

Responding to the Word

What is the Holy Spirit saying to you from God’s Word?  

How can you apply this to your life?

Prayer

Father, forgive us our debt as we forgive our debtors. Help me to forgive . . .

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