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Forgive
by Molly Wingard



Matthew 18:21-22 says, "Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Till seven times?" "Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven.


Peter trying to be especially generous, asked Jesus if seven (the perfect number) was enough times to forgive someone. Jesus answered, "seventy times seven," meaning that we shouldn't even keep track of how many times we forgive someone. Jesus means limitless forgiveness.


Forgive daily those who have sinned against you. Allow God's forgiving nature to guide you in forgiving others. Peter took it for granted that he must forgive; Christ had taught this to His disciples before. Peter knew that he shouldn’t bear a grudge against anyone but to be a good friend.


In our corrupt nature we set limits particularly in forgiving, though we have so much forgiven us. It doesn’t look good for us to keep account of the offenses done against us by our brethren. God keeps an account, because He is the Judge, and vengeance is His.


Luke 17: 3-4 Take heed to yourselves: If thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive him. And if he trespass against thee seven times in a day, and seven times in a day turn again to thee, saying, I repent; thou shalt forgive him.


To rebuke does not mean to point out every sin we see, it means to bring sin to a person's attention with the purpose of restoring them to God. When you feel you must rebuke another believer for a sin, check your attitudes before you speak. Unless rebuke is tied to forgiveness, it will not help the sinning person. If God commands us to do this to others, we can be sure that God does this for us as well, even if we come repeatedly confessing the same sin.


Ephesians 4:32 And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you. Those who are unwilling to forgive have not become one with Christ, who was willing to forgive even those who crucified Him.


Mark 11:25-26 And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses. But if ye do not forgive neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses.


Forgiving others is tough work- so much so that many people would rather do something totally distasteful than offer forgiveness to someone who has wronged them. Real prayer dismantles pride and vengeance, filling the holes with love. To have prayer power, there must be harmony and forgiveness evident in the body of believers. We should freely forgive those whom have hurt us and be in charity with all men. Understand that God forgives us our sins as we forgive others who have sinned against us. Adopt the forgiveness of others into your prayer life as a daily discipline.


2 Corinthians 2: 7-10 So that contrariwise ye ought rather to forgive him, and comfort him, lest perhaps such a one should be swallowed up with overmuch sorrow. Wherefore I beseech you that ye would confirm your love toward him. For to this end also did I write, that I might know the proof of you, whether ye be obedient in all things. To whom ye forgive any thing, I forgive also: for if I forgave any thing, to whom I forgave it, for your sakes forgave I it in the person of Christ’s;


Paul feared that excessive punishment might cause the offender to be overcome with grief. Therefore, he urged the church to affirm their love for him. Though they had accepted Paul's authority in the case of the rebel, they had yet to prove that they accepted it in all things.


James 5: 15-16 And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he hath committed sins, they shall be forgiven him. Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.


Christ has made it possible for us to go directly to God for forgiveness. A Child of God's most powerful resource is communion with God through prayer. Jesus asked God to forgive the people who were putting Him to death. God answered that prayer by opening up the way of salvation.



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