Forgiveness has been offered to the offender and reconciliation has taken place and yet they continue to sin against you? What do you do?
That same question was asked by the apostle Peter to Jesus.
Mat 18:21, “Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Till seven times?”
What did Jesus tell him?
Mat 18:22, “Jesus said unto him, I say not unto you, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven.”
Luke 17:3, “Take heed to yourselves: If your brother trespass against you, rebuke him; and if
he repent, forgive him.”
Luke 17:4, “ And if he trespass against you seven times in a day, and seven times in a day turn again to you saying, I repent; you shall forgive him.”
The point that Christ was trying to get across was that no matter how many times they sin against you, if they repent, you must forgive them!
Christ said that if we are merciful, we will be shown mercy.
“Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.” (Matt 5:7 NIV)
“Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.” (Mat 5:9)
“And be you kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake has forgiven you.” (Eph 4:32)
“Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering;” (Col 3:12)
“And to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, charity.” (2Pe 1:7)
“For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that you shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (2Pe 1:8)
Forgiving liberates us and it lifts a burden off our shoulders. Christ said His yoke was easy and His burden was light. Put all of your hurts on His shoulders!
“Come unto me, all you that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” (Mat 11:28)
“Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and you shall find rest unto your souls.” (Mat 11:29)
“For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” (Mat 11:30)
Many times it is difficult to continue to forgive someone who keeps hurting you, but if Jesus asked His Father to forgive this whole world and those who tortured and killed Him, then can’t we forgive those who hurt us if they repent?
“Bless them which persecute you: bless, and curse not.” (Rom 12:14)
“Be kindly affectionate one to another with brotherly love; in honor preferring one another;” (Rom 12:10)
If their actions continue to hurt us, we may want to get revenge, but this is what Christ says to do…,
“Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, says the Lord.” (Rom 12:19)
“Therefore if your enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing you shall heap coals of fire on his head.” (Rom 12:20)
“Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.” (Rom 12:21)
Can we forgive seventy times seven? Can we overcome evil with good?
Our elder brother Jesus Christ did! He should be our example in everything we think and do!
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Recommended reading By Paul Meier, MD “Don’t Let Jerks Get the Best of You” www.amazon.com/Jerks-Advice-Dealing-Difficult-People/dp/0785280197#reader_0785280197