As we seek an all in relationship with God we need to learn forgiveness is a gift that needs to be easily given. What makes it tough is when forgiveness for a similar offence is forgiven over and over, we tend to get cynical if that person will ever change. Think about how Jesus feels when his children come to him over and over asking to forgive them of the sins that they keep getting themselves into. Jesus reminded Peter to forgive his brother seventy times seven, a number that if we actually tried to keep track we would most likely forget.
“If anyone has caused grief, he has not so much grieved me as he has grieved all of you to some extent—not to put it too severely. The punishment inflicted on him by the majority is sufficient. Now instead, you ought to forgive and comfort him, so that he will not be overwhelmed by excessive sorrow. I urge you, therefore, to reaffirm your love for him.”
2 Corinthians 2:5-8 NIV
Ever have some in your church expose themselves as a sinner? I don’t mean a new Christian, but someone you would never expect to do something wrong? The shame they feel for their exposed sin is real, they trust they had with others is dwindled. Their confidence as a person, especially if they voluntarily exposed themselves is thin. We tend to keep condemning them for their actions, maybe not vocally but in the way we treat them. Their sin is not infectious, you can comfort t m, if they have confessed to God and asked for forgiveness then who are we to keep bringing them down. Yes, there may be consequences for their actions, and they will have to deal with those. But we as a family need to be forgiving as we will be in the same position someday.
Are you willing to forgive others who have done something against you? Against someone you love? What will you do to strengthen your all in relationship with God? We are called to love our neighbors, forgiveness is part of that love. We would hope that people would forgive us when we fail, so how much more can we do the same for them.
Jesus, I pray we will be able to forgive our brothers and sisters who make mistakes that can hurt us. Help us to comfort them as we are all sinners saved by grace. Let us not be a stumbling block for them receiving Gods forgiveness. As we strive for an all in relationship with you I ask that we have the wisdom to forgive others who have hurt us or those we love. Amen