A Double Blessing
Matthew 18:21-22 (NIV®)
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.”
It sometimes can be hard to forgive, can’t it? I have a mental picture that helps me when I am struggling with forgiveness. I envision myself taking whatever the event is and stuffing it in a trash bag. I watch myself tie it up, then I drop it on a conveyor belt and watch it move away. If it’s been a real problem, it probably will come back around a few seconds after I watch it disappear. I may have to do that a hundred times that first day because I have been living with it so long, thinking about it and stoking the fire that fuels it. I have to keep stuffing that trash bag and sending it away. But two weeks later it will only show up a few times. Two months later I may remember that event and not have any response at all. Forgiveness is not a once-in-a-lifetime event; it is a tool that we will need to carry with us as we travel through life. Forgiveness is a double blessing: it not only cancels the debt we feel someone owes us and sets them free, but it also sets us free.
THINK ABOUT IT
Are there people you are harboring resentment toward because of something they said or didn’t say, did or didn’t do? Mentally bundle up your feelings and surrender them to the Lord. Canceling the debt will set you both free.
Heavenly Father, thank You for forgiving me while I was yet still a sinner and in rebellion toward You. I choose to forgive my brother for any and all offenses against me. I ask that You have mercy on my enemy. Bless my enemy by revealing Your love to them and drawing them close to Yourself.
I rejoice that You are a forgiving Father whose grace and mercy endures forever. In Jesus’ name, amen.
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