If your brother sins against you, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him. And if he sins against you seven times in a day, and seven times in a day returns to you, saying, ‘I repent,’ you shall forgive him. – Luke 17:3-4
Forgiveness, a powerful concept in the bible, is at the root of our Christian experience. Romans 5:8 says, “…While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Love cannot exist where forgiveness is absent; we know love because God first forgave us. This is critical because as humans, we will always be in need of forgiveness for our offences, or be confronted with forgiving an offender.
Our text clearly reveals how God wants us to deal with people that offend us (which by the way is inevitable), He wants us to ALWAYS forgive them, let it go; just the way He ALWAYS forgives our shortcomings. Thus, forgiveness of the sins or shortcomings of others is an indication that we regard God’s Word above our hurts.
Jesus is the sole initiator of the Ministry of Reconciliation, Who came to call sinners to repentance. For this reason, as His representatives, we believers must extend mercy and forgiveness to one another. We must learn to overlook, forgive and give second chances to our relatives, friends, colleagues, spouses, team mates etc. You may say, “But Pastor Wale, they really hurt me and I am pained.” I will leave you with what I saw on a friend’s (Matt Millar) Facebook page yesterday, “Forgiveness does not deny your pain or deny that harm was caused. Forgiveness accepts that there is a Judge and I am not Him.”
There can be no true and abiding love without forgiveness and there can be no lasting friendship without forgiveness. Remember, God is Love; we have God living in us by His Spirit so, we have Love. And Love does not write off the offender but rather seeks to gain a brother. LOVE NEVER FAILS…really, love only fails when we fail to love.
Open up your ‘heart’s prison’ where your offenders are ‘locked up’, and let your prisoners go free!
I am a love child of a love God, I live in victory over offenses, for the DNA of God is in me. I do my best to neither take nor give offense. I walk in love and I am quick to forgive. I seek forgiveness where I am wrong and I do my best to seek reconciliation. I am a demonstration of God’s kindness, goodness, love, mercy and forgiveness to all around me.