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Seventy Times Seven
Forgiving the unforgivable
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 NIV
Matthew 18:21-22 NIV
For those who know me, I'm a very forgiving person. I'm not perfect, I've had my moments where I didn't want to forgive someone. In my whole life, I think there have been maybe two people that were difficult to forgive. I forgave them though. Why? Do I could heal and move on. I also did it because God wants us to forgive, as he forgives us! There isn't one time in my life where I needed forgiveness that God didn't forgive me. So, because God can forgive me for all of my unthinkable sins, I will forgive those who sin against me and God will forgive them, too.
And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive them, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your Mark 11:25 NIV
We've been forgiven, so why is it so hard to forgive?
I think it's hard to forgive because we feel that by forgiving we are telling the person that it's ok or that we are excusing their behavior. We need to forgive those that we think don't deserve it because we've been forgiven when we don't deserve it.
“Holding a grudge doesn't make you strong, it makes you bitter. Forgiving doesn't make you weak, it sets you free.” - Dave Willis
Forgiving someone isn't telling them that what they did is ok, it's simply forgiving them so you can heal. Even if we feel that they haven't learned their lesson, we should forgive them.
There is no end to what the power of forgiveness can do. (Revised) - Matthew West
Sometimes it's hard to forgive people, especially if they never apologized or they just aren't sorry. But, remember, the forgiveness isn't excusing their behavior.
“Forgiveness doesn't diminish justice: it just entrusts it to God.” - Max Lucado
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:19 NIV
Sometimes forgiving yourself is harder than forgiving others. We want to beat ourselves up for things we've done, said or even thought. We let ourselves become depressed, filled with anxiety and hate. We end up thinking we're worthless and no one loves us because we struggle to love ourselves. You end up hurting yourself when you don't forgive yourself.
Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. 1 Peter 5:7 NIV
We've all made mistakes, we all need forgiveness. The greatest gift you can give yourself is forgiveness. When you forgive yourself you will heal. When you finally let it go you will start to grow. Love yourself as God loves you.
“To be a Christian means to forgive the inexcusable, because God has forgiven the inexcusable in you.” -C.S.Lewis
But with you there is forgiveness, so that we can, with reverence, serve you. Psalm 130:4 NIV
God forgives every inexcusable, unthinkable sin. When he forgives us he also shows us his perfect love, grace, and mercy. He forgives the mistakes we don't want to forgive of ourselves. He loves us so much that he sent his son, Jesus, to die on the cross for our sins.
What we need to remember is that when we sin and ask for forgiveness and repent, we are saying that we won't sin in that same way again (or at least try our hardest). There is no perfect Christian. Everyone, at some point in their life, has had to ask for forgiveness.
We are so blessed to have such a loving, forgiving God.
He does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him; Psalm 103:10-11
God is a God that gives leniency but at the same time lets us learn from our mistakes. God's love is so great that he can forgive us for the most inconceivable sin.
“If God didn't forgive sinners, heaven would be empty” - unknown
The moment you asked God for forgiveness he forgave you. Do yourself a favor and leave it in God's hands and leave the guilt behind.
“When I carry the guilt and shame, I essentially say Jesus’ death on the cross was not enough for me.” - Laura Jane Barber
We can forgive others and we can forgive ourselves because God can forgive us.
We can heal by forgiving ourselves and others, even if it's not deserved.
If God thinks we deserve forgiveness then we can forgive.
Let yourself heal. Don't live with built up depression, anxiety, and other built-up health problems because you couldn't forgive. Let it go. Let God take over. Don't live in the past, move on, move forward. Let It Go.
Is it easy for you to forgive others or do you have a hard time? Comment below.
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