You would think that being a Follower of Christ for as long as I have, as well as a coach and counselor, I would have a good grasp on forgiveness. But the truth is, I’m still learning; very much a work in progress.
I understand that forgiving others as Christ has forgiven me is the key to why I am to forgive. Paul clearly writes this in Ephesians 4:31-32 NIV “Get rid of all bitterness, rage, and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”
Jesus teaches us further in Matthew 18:21-22 that we are to forgive more often than we feel we need to. “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 times seven.”
Seventy times seven. There are some wounds in my life that it took what seemed like seventy times seven times for me to forgive them fully. The pain ran that deep. It was a process; God needed to grow His transforming grace in me.
Here is where I’ve made the disconnect on forgiveness.
I’m learning that when I’ve hurt someone with my words and actions, I need to accept and prepare for the anger, frustration, disappointment, and hurt they feel as they try to trust God and grow in His grace to enable them to forgive me, and it may take even more than seventy times seven. It’s not that they won’t or don’t want to forgive you, they have to grow until their able to forgive you.
Only God, by his grace, grants us forgiveness and, by that same grace, enables us to forgive others.
Is there someone in your life that is struggling to forgive you? Perhaps they are trying to forgive but needing God’s strength, wisdom, and courage to forgive completely. Be as patient with them as you would have others be patient with you. Don’t give up on being forgiven. Remember Jesus’ words, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”
I hope that today’s blog was encouraging to you. Make sure you sign up to receive blogs every Tuesday and Thursday. transformingfamilies.org was created to enable you to discover and develop authentic, healthy intimacy in all your relationships.
FYI: I also provide one-on-one coaching, if you would like to improve your relationships, or you want someone to talk to, e-mail me at ‘email@example.com’, and we’ll schedule a time to connect. My hope for you is that through these blogs, references, and resources, God will transform you from being bruised or broken to an abundantly blessed child of God.
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