Let’s talk about forgiveness!
My perspective is always growing on this topic. We probably face this topic on a daily basis.
How often do we just easily cut someone off or ignore them because they hurt us? I have been guilty of this but I had to learn and try my best to remember how Jesus forgave.
In Matthew 18: 21-22, Peter asked how often we should forgive:
“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.”
This is how it should be when we forgive. A clean white, slate on our hearts for the person. Sounds pretty simple, right?
My understanding of forgiveness is that the first thing is that it is between the one who has been hurt and God.
Therefore, if I am wronged or feel as if I have been wronged… my first source should be God. Not the other person or the other person’s friend or even my friends or family. God should be the first to be contacted! I forgive because I want to be set free through Christ.
We as Christians should allow people to recover. Discern those around you who are genuine when they apologize.
Stop feeding into what society teaches us – That we need to fend for ourselves – simply by erasing people and celebrate the cut.
The reality is SOME relationships are worth fighting for. How often have WE betrayed Jesus and he forgave us? How often does He grant us new beginnings? After forgiveness- Know when to protect your spirit, know when to reconcile and restore. Peter had a bad day, Judas had a bad heart.
Ephesians 4:32 says:
” Be kind to each other, tender hearted and forgiving one another just as God through Christ has forgiven you”
So does forgiveness automatically mean we have to reconcile?
God grants us wisdom and discernment for moments like these. Reconciliation, though a desired outcome – is not a requirement. Forgiveness does not equal reconciliation. That’s right, I said it….. and this is something I had to learn the very hard way. But after reading deeper into the scriptures, listening to podcast (Lisa and John Bevere have a great one) and seeking wise counsel; I had to accept this truth.
Though forgiveness and reconciliation can be done together, they are two separate things.
Just because you are doing the expected thing as a Christian is not a green card for persons to do whatever they please and then to conveniently drop, ” What would Jesus do?” .Forgiveness doesn’t mean you allow the person to walk all over you each and every time. The best apology is changed behavior!
Each situation calls for self-awareness and self-evaluation.
Pray about it. I repeat. Pray about it.
Have you been convicted by the Holy Spirit? Not yourself …. But the true conviction of the Holy Spirit. (If you’re not being convicted on a daily basis it’s time to do a spiritual check up.)
Lord, did this agreement happen for me to step back from something? Do I need to forgive and MOVE on?
At the end of the day, forgiven people, should be forgiving people. Why? Because God has forgiven you!
The Graced Citizen