How to live in harmony when we feel we are failing so badly? After all, we are sinners struggling against our own flesh and against the evil that is in this world. But there is a way to live in harmony and it involves three blessed words: the first is love, the second is forgiveness, and the third is patience.
The Bible teaches us to live in harmony by putting on these three acts, the first of which is the most important and determines the fulfillment of the other two, for as it is written in Colossians 3:14, love is the perfect bond. On Wednesday we talked about love, and today we will deepen a little on a not easy but necessary theme, forgiveness, after all without it it is impossible to have harmony.
Forgive 70 times 7
Then Peter came to him and said, “Lord, how many times shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven times? Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times; but up to seventy times seven.Matthew 18:21,22
Are you willing to forgive 70 times 7? By ourselves this would be impossible, for when someone does something against us, we feel wronged, hurt and hurt. But by the grace of God, of his Holy Spirit who dwells in us, today we are able to forgive, but after all… what does the Bible say about forgiveness?
God forgives our sins, so why shouldn’t we also forgive our neighbor? We sing praises saying that we want to be closer to the Lord and more like Him, but this is not possible if we are not willing to forgive.
When we forgive, we receive forgiveness, and if we really begin to understand and comprehend what Jesus did on the cross for us, forgiveness will flow into our hearts more easily. In Matthew 6:14-15 it is written, “For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you; but if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.”
We want our Father’s forgiveness so much, but we don’t want to extend that same grace to our neighbor. We do horrible things in God’s eyes, for to Him there is no such thing as small or great sin, and yet through Christ He has more than just forgiven us, He has saved us! As it is described in Ephesians 4:32, “But be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God also forgave you in Christ.”
Be quick to forgive
And when you are praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your trespasses. But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father in heaven forgive your trespasses.Mark 11:25,26
We do not know about tomorrow, so we must be quick to forgive and be reconciled with our brothers. Besides forgiveness being an ordinance, it brings numerous benefits such as:
- Forgiving will make you less nervous;
- Forgiving will make your body healthier and even improve your sleep;
- Forgiving helps you make peace with yourself;
- Forgiving strengthens the recovery process from the traumas of infidelity;
- Forgiving improves physical and mental health.
But how to forgive?
The first and most important step is to bring the situation before the Lord, pray for the person and the situation, as it is written in Mark 11:25-26. And here are some more practical tips:
- Reflect and be willing to forgive the person;
- Forgive yourself before forgiving your neighbor;
- Avoid judging others;
- Keep a journal to relieve your anguish;
- Offer forgiveness to that person, even if they don’t accept it;
- Don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do today.
There is no harmony where there is no forgiveness, think about the environments around you and you will realize this. It’s time to do your part and start working on your emotional side to forgive people who have hurt you, as well as to ask forgiveness from the people you once hurt.
God bless you!
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