I would like to bring up a very important topic today: Forgiveness! Have we forgiven as Christ taught us? Have we been meek of heart? Or do I fear we are easily stressed, compassionate and resentful?
The question of forgiveness is a very delicate one. A theme that must be rooted in our minds, so that the Body of Christ may be built and communion may grow.
Why should I forgive or ask for 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
I believe that the biggest reason why we should forgive our brothers and accept a request for forgiveness is for simple fact that we are sinners and did not deserve God’s forgiveness, yet He gave His Son to forgive our sins, so if we are Christians (the meaning of the word Christians in Greek is “Little Christs”), we must follow the ways of Christ
There is something very interesting about forgiveness in Jewish culture: in Judaism, it was considered honorable to forgive three times. However, in this line of Jesus, in Matthew 18:22, we realize that Christ came to raise the ruler, that is, the disciples, as part of the new covenant community, should exceed this standard of Judaism.
If Christ forgives me, even though I am flawed, sinful, dirty and not deserving of His grace and forgiveness, who am I to think I don’t need or not being willing to forgive someone or ask for forgiveness?
Where is your heart?
“Above all else, guard your heart,Proverbs 4:23
for everything you do flows from it.”
The Bible makes us very clear about the importance of having a pure heart. If our hearts are in the right place, we will have the right attitudes and if we are following a crooked path, our decisions will lead us to death.
But what does this have to do with forgiveness? Simply everything. If we have our hearts in the right place and follow in Christ’s footsteps, we will not hesitate to ask forgiveness from those we hurt or accept forgiveness. To ask for forgiveness and to forgive is to acknowledge that you were wrong, it is to put the ego aside, in favor of something greater. This greater thing is the decision to act as Christ would act and act.
Therefore, in order for us to have the mentality necessary to ask for forgiveness and to forgive, it is extremely necessary that we know where our heart is.
Forgiveness heals the soul!
We know how difficult it is to ask for forgiveness or accept, but the reward for that is unparalleled. From the moment we decide to forgive, not only is our soul healed and a gigantic weight comes off our backs, as the other person who has hurt us or whom we have hurt, is also healed and his life is transformed.
The love that Christ showed for us is the same that we must show for our brothers, friends and family. We cannot leave this love to ourselves alone, but we must spread that love, so that more people can know the love of Christ and thus be transformed in the same way that we were transformed when we first met Him.
Therefore, do not keep the love that the Lord has placed in you for yourself. As it is written in Colossians 3:13, Forgive as the Lord forgave you.
It’s not easy!
I want to make it very clear that forgiving or asking for forgiveness is not easy. It is not easy, because for that, we need to let go of our pride and let our guard down.
However, we need to be reconciled with our brothers and do what is right, do what Christ taught us to do.
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”John 16:33
Grace and Peace.