Christians today have no problem asking God to forgive us of our own faults and sins. There is freedom in those moments when asking for forgiveness when we sin. God embraces us with His unconditional love and there is a deep connection with God, which is great!
But do we forgive others that have offended us?
When one of your close friends talks badly behind your back and betrays you, do you forgive them or do you hold a grudge against them and say, “I’ll get them back, just you wait”? In that moment, we have forgotten God’s love and mercy and try to seek out revenge.
Whereas, the Gospel of Matthew on the Sermon on the Mount says:
“If you forgive others their sins, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.
But if you don’t forgive others, neither will your Father forgive your sins.”
The Sermon on the Mount shows followers and disciples of Jesus how we should live out their lives.
One of the ways disciples live out their lives is to remember that we are sinners by nature, and by having the Holy Spirit remind us of the importance of Jesus dying on a Cross and forgiving us of our sins. It’s in those moments that we are reminded that we need a savior, and so do the people who hurt us.
And so, instead of pointing to God and telling God that you deserve justice, remember.
Remember to forgive just as God forgave you.
Remember that you are a reflection of God to the lost and hurting.
Remember that you are a light to the world.
Are you seeking revenge? Or are you seeking forgiveness?
WRITTEN BY: EPHRAIM SCHOEPHOERSTER
13 Bear with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgive each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.
14 “If you forgive others their sins, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you don’t forgive others, neither will your Father forgive your sins.”
23 Then Peter came up and said to Jesus, “Lord, how often will my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?” 22 Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you seven times, but seventy times seven.”
- Why does forgiving people go against our natural instinct? Why is it so important for followers of Jesus to constantly forgive people?
- Who lately has hurt you? What person(s) causes rage, anger, sadness, and tears to creep in uncontrollably when you think about them? Write their name below and how they have hurt you.
- Take a moment to be honest with yourself. What lately have you done to o end God? What sins have you committed? Write them down. Then ask God to forgive you of your sins.
Reflect on the name(s) that you thought about (Question 2) along with the hurt. Now forgive them of that hurt.
If you are having a difficult time saying out loud that you forgive them, be sure to talk to your Lifegroup leaders, and confess that you cannot let that hurt go. Holding onto that hurt only hurts you.