The world we live in is full of sin. Our very own nature is sinful. The result is that we face daily trials, disappointments and offenses. What is the biblical approach to overcoming those hurts, betrayals etc? How do we forgive and why is it so important to forgive?
The inability to forgive causes so much pain and entangles us making us paralyzed in continuing our walk with the Lord.
1 Thessalonians 1:15 states “I am the foremost sinner”. We have to realize that we are the foremost sinner. There is no sin greater than another and when we truthfully reflect on ourselves it becomes evident that we fall short daily. And in this depth of sin, God showed His grace towards us. We didn’t deserve it. It was His love for us, that He gave His only son to die for us, so we could be reconciled to Him. God was merciful towards us and calls us to extend that same mercy towards others. Luke 6:36
Matthew 18:21-35 is a parable about forgiveness. In summary, it explains how a slave, who was forgiven a debt he was unable to pay by the king, went to a slave which owed him and choked him demanding the debt owed to him. The slave was not able to pay, just as he himself was not able to pay back the king, but rather than extending the same mercy he received from the king, he threw him into prison. The consequence of not being able to forgive is seen in the kings response. When he heard what the forgiven slave had done to the other slave, he handed him over to the torturers until he could pay what he owed. Until we have truly forgiven with the heart, our heavenly Father will do the same to us. When we don’t forgive, we are the ones suffering and in pain.
Trials are a gift from above as God uses them to sharpen us and shape us closer and closer into His image. 2 Thess. 1:5 This is a plain indication of God’s righteous judgment so that you will be considered worthy of the kingdom of God, for which indeed you are suffering. God promises us that we will be persecuted just as His son has been persecuted. We need to count it joy as it is a pledge of God Himself showing us that we are His. The story of Joseph is a beautiful example of God’s sovereignty as well as God’s ways to use what is meant for evil for good. Jospeh’s brothers sold him into slavery out of jealousy, but God raised Him up to be the Highest Official in Egypt besides Pharao himself. Joseph continued to humbly walk with the Lord fulfilling His plans, and in the end extended forgiveness to his brothers. He had His eyes fixed on the Lord and trusted in God’s sovereignty.
If we want to forgive, we can’t have our eyes focused on our current world. We have to set our eyes on the things above. Collossians 3:2. This world is not our home. We are called to live a life set apart for the gospel. Hebrews 12:1-3 run the race with indurance getting rid of all the sin that entangles us focusing our eyes on Jesus, the perfector of our faith We are called to run this race alongside our brothers and sisters in truth, grace and love building each other up as we build God’s kingdom.
– Counting it all Joy –