How often should we forgive that person who did us wrong? Scripture spells it out in simple math: seventy times seven times, and if I do my math right it equals 490 times. The message here isn’t to literally forgive someone 490 times—-I believe it means no matter how many times someone wrongs you, you keep on forgiving. You forgive, you forgive again and you forgive again.
Just as forgiveness sets us free, a lack of forgiveness creates resentment that will eat away at our lives. It is unhealthy to allow these feelings of resentment and bitterness to grow or before we know it, these feelings will occupy our minds. We will go to bed thinking bitter thoughts and wake up thinking bitter thoughts.These thoughts halt us from renewing our mind daily to the gifts of Spirit of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control. Before we realize we will begin to enjoy holding onto the offenses more than reflecting His image. This resentment truly interferes with a routine of reestablishing our commitment to God daily.
Bitterness robs us of the joy that would normally be experienced with our family, friends, or other blessings that God has for us. Unforgiveness is like carrying a 100 lb. backpack everywhere you go and while you carrying that weight everything you do is so so hard. But when you “forgive” you are throwing that heavy backpack off . You are removing the very weight that slows you down. Without the weight of unforgiveness everything becomes light and manageable again as you purposely keep your eyes on Jesus. Forgiveness allows you to let go of the hurtful events of the past. The act of forgiveness ushers in freedom. This freedom will physically, emotionally and mentally bring you to a place of health where you can Run to the very bright future that God has for you.
We need to forgive because we desperately need forgiveness. For we have all sinned and fall short of the glory of God. Romans 3:23
Without a doubt, that is why God created forgiveness. God has made a way for us to start anew.
“ you may fall on your knees and pray—to God’s delight!
You’ll see God’s smile and celebrate,
finding yourself set right with God.” Job 33:26
We all have made mistakes but we don’t have to carry it and regret it for our entire life. We can lay it at the feet of Jesus.
“You’ll sing God’s praises to everyone you meet,
testifying, ‘I messed up my life—
and let me tell you, it wasn’t worth it.
But God stepped in and saved me from certain death.
I’m alive again! Once more I see the light!” Job 33:27-28
In John 10:10 Jesus said, “I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.”
God did not give us life to just endure, but to enjoy abundantly. What is holding you back from the abundant life? What are you holding onto? I believe the hardest thing to do is to forgive yourself. If this is your struggle, decide today to forgive yourself. There is no offense that God does not forgive.
He will forgive you. Begin today, reading scripture and renewing your mind daily to the promise of forgiveness. Share your story here on this blog site,www.bonnieliabenow.com, and allow us to pray for you. There is such freedom in forgiveness. Allow yourself to experience it.
Take this opportunity to write your stories. Complete pages 63-66 in The Study.
If you are kind, people may accuse you of ulterior motives. Be kind anyway.
If you are honest, people may cheat you. Be honest anyway.
If you find happiness, people may be jealous. Be happy anyway.
The good you do today may be forgotten tomorrow. Do good anyway.
Give the world the best you have and it may never be enough. Give your best anyway.
For you see, in the end, it is between you and God. It was never between you and them anyway.”
― Mother Teresa
My husband is always reminding me that it is better to be righteous than right. Choosing a life of faith and living it in excellence always comes with sacrifice. Choosing to be righteous (morally upright and acting according to the holiness of God) might feel like a sacrifice when you really want to let the offender know that YOU ARE RIGHT in a situation and they are wrong!