Forgiveness: The consequence of love

If we love one another as our Lord has loved us, and as He has commanded us, then we must also be willing to forgive one another.  Yes, I mean for real!

Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.

(Col. 3:13)

This is all very easy to say, but when we are hurting it isn’t always easy to do!  But if we refuse to forgive others, our growth in the Lord will be stunted.  How can I approach the throne of grace while refusing to forgive someone?  (Think about it)  It is backwards to ask God for forgiveness when we are holding a grudge against someone else.  So the question moves forward, how many times do we need to forgive our brother who keeps on messing up?

Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?”

 Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.

(Matt. 18:21-22)

I think it is fair to say that Jesus’ reply is essentially that we need to forgive as many times as it takes… But why do we need to be so forgiving?

Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.

(Eph. 4:32)

I don’t like to think about how many sins Jesus has forgiven me for, how about you?  Nobody in the world has sinned against me as many times as I’ve sinned against Him, and He has forgiven me, how can I argue when He calls upon me to forgive others?

To grow in our walk with Jesus, to really be His disciple, we must know what the Master knows and do what the Master does.  The Master forgives, so must I.  The truth is that when I meet God face to face, I am counting upon His mercy, and I hope to avoid, by His mercy, His justice!  As a disciple, I must decide to love my neighbor as myself and place their interests before my own and I must commit to forgive even when I’m hurting.  This isn’t always easy, but the reward is worth the effort:

Blessed are the merciful, 
   for they will be shown mercy

(Matt. 5:7)

About Don Merritt

A long time teacher and writer, Don hopes to share his varied life's experiences in a different way with a Christian perspective.
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6 Responses to Forgiveness: The consequence of love

  1. sarahas5 says:

    Great message! Years ago I heard a sermon on forgiveness, wherein the speaker defined it in a way I will never forget: “Forgiveness is the willingness to accept the penalty for another person’s sin.” At the time, I was struggling to forgive someone for a sin that could never be erased; somehow realizing that I had to be willing to accept that permanent penalty in order to truly forgive the person helped me do just that. It took me awhile to also understand that that is exactly what Christ did for me. Forgiveness is not an easy-breezy mental exercise; it is a definite act of the will that flies in the face of our natural tendencies toward revenge or resentment. I can’t say I always master my will and overcome my natural tendency, and I needed the reminder inherent in your post today. Thanks!

    • Don Merritt says:

      Thank you Sara for sharing today! You are so right in what you’ve said, forgiveness is counterintuitive for most of us with the result that we think sometimes we can forgive and still impose consequences on the other person. Of course, that’s crazy! The way you posed it really brings that out; thanks again for your comment!

  2. Pieter Stok says:

    Practising to be like Jesus!

  3. Noel Williams (prhayz) says:

    Self is one of the reason people find it hard to forgive. Humans tend to focus on the hurt inflicted by the other person. And as long as the hurt lingers, the chance of forgiving the other person becomes more difficult.

  4. Pingback: THE TIME IS NOW DISCIPLINE AND FORGIVENESS IN THE CHURCH « Vine and Branch World Ministries

  5. Pingback: Forgiveness: The consequence of love | A disciple's study

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