TITLE: Total Forgiveness
By Mark E Crossley
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New York Senator, Hilary Clinton once said “The Bible says they asked Jesus how many times you should forgive and he said 70 times 7. Well, I want you all to know that I'm keeping a chart”. Forgiveness is one of those areas that is probably the most difficult one Christians face today so let’s have a look at this issue a bit deeper.
There are a number of questions I would like you to answer personally in your own time and my prayer is that after answering these and reading the article God would speak to your heart on how in particular circumstances you should move forward with forgiveness.
Do you naturally forgive when someone hurts you i.e. they killed your son or daughter, someone raped you etc? Do you always seek to have revenge? Do you get satisfaction for paying someone back for the wrongs they did towards you so you get even with them? Can you forgive that person and speak to them as if nothing has ever happened? How long do you hold onto grudges before you let go of their mistakes?
How often do you remind yourself or others about that sin? How often do you forgive yourself, ask for forgiveness from others and God? Could you shake hands with someone who murdered, raped or abused one of your friends or relatives and even give them a hug?
As the biblical quote above says forgive 70 times 7 so do my feelings towards that particular circumstance have any bearing on things or am I sinning if I cannot forgive that person?
There are three aspects we need to think of when it comes to forgiveness:
Forgiveness from God:
Augustine said "God has promised forgiveness to your repentance, but He has not promised tomorrow to your procrastination." We need to repent to God for the sins we commit so as Isaiah 43 v 25 says "I am he that blotted out they transgressions” and the Lord takes way your sin. The word repent means we should turn away from our wrong doing instead of going in a constant cycle sinning against our creator and apologise to God for the offence we cause him.
None of us are perfect, only God and all fall short of the Glory of God as the bible says but we can try to amend our lifestyles and the whole forgiveness cycle starts with receiving forgiveness from God, then forgiving others and then ourselves. I pray today you will receive forgiveness from God and you will know his touch today and peace in your circumstances and be healed of your sins in Jesus Name. Amen.
We read in Luke 23 v 34 “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do” Former US President John F Kennedy goes on to give us this advise “Forgive your enemies, but never forget their names”. That is so true we won’t ever erase the sin people commit against us but we can forgive them. Acts 7 v 60 says “Lord, do not hold this sin against them”
Oscar Wilde once said “Always forgive your enemies, nothing annoys them so much” The bible puts it like this in Luke 6 v 28 “Bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you”. What does the following story do to your heart when you read it?
“A pastor of a church was asking the congregation who would like prayer to help them to forgive others. All but one man put his hand up so after the prayers had been finished the Pastor asked him why he did not put up his hand and the man responded by saying because I have no enemies I need to forgive”. How remarkable? Can you say that today?
A few suggestions are to think more positively about all people, everyone is likeable, and everyone has something they can bless you with. “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other?” Ephesians 4 v 32 says.
Lewis Swedes said "It takes one person to forgive, it takes two people to be reunited" In a world that is so sinful as Christians we need to be more in unity and its okay if we forgive ourselves but we need that other person to join with us to make it happen. Agree?
I pray today the Lord will give start a spirit of forgiving others in your daily walk, not holding onto their wrong doing, showing a hand of grace to others and each day as I wake up and as I go to sleep I choose to forgive other people for what they have done towards me in Jesus name”.
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins” 1 John 1 v 9. Don’t you just need that sometimes to have your sins forgiven by a holy god and not through a priest? To know that no other person except Jesus can bury your sins as the depths of the ocean and to transform you inside out.
“Confess your faults one to another and pray one for another that ye may be healed”
James 5 v 16, “Forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another, forgive as the Lord forgave you” Colossians 3 v 13.
Everyone has guilt, shame, regrets but pray God will release a spirit of new opportunities, anointing, grace and forgiveness daily and to restore mistakes into miracles.
Real forgiveness is a life-long commitment! You must practice it every day until you die. No one ever said it would be easy. Sidney and Suzanne Simon said “Forgiveness is freeing up and putting to better use the energy once consumed by holding grudges, harbouring resentments, and nursing unhealed wounds. It is rediscovering the strengths we always had and relocating our limitless capacity to understand and accept other people and ourselves”.
Lewis B. Smedes “You can forgive someone almost anything. But you cannot tolerate everything...We don't have to tolerate what people do just because we forgive them for doing it. Forgiving heals us personally. To tolerate everything only hurts us all in the long run."
"Forgiving does not erase the bitter past. A healed memory is not a deleted memory. Instead, forgiving what we cannot forget creates a new way to remember. We change the memory of our past into a hope for our future."
"Forgiveness is God's invention for coming to terms with a world in which, despite their best intentions, people are unfair to each other and hurt each other deeply. He began by forgiving us. And he invites us all to forgive each other."
We can either get bitter or better but I pray you will have a spirit of total forgiveness from God, from others, and towards yourself. What do you choose in your daily walk today?.
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