“So watch yourselves. “If your brother or sister sins against you, rebuke them;
And if they repent, forgive them.
Even if they sin against you seven times in a day and seven times come back to you saying,
‘I repent’ you must forgive them.”
Luke 17:3-4 NIV
As Christians our part is to offer forgiveness to the one who sins against us and repents.
Their sin is between them and God, but as we forgive others, it frees us from holding grudges and bitterness inside our hearts.
We are to offer unconditional forgiveness in the ordinary run of the mill daily offenses.
If the situation involves abuse, third party intervention will be necessasry.
For today we are dealing with daily offenses, run of the mill, living together offenses.
Just a few days ago, I read the Bible Verse from 1 John 4:20, that states, “Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen.”
That Verse just confirmed to me how we need God’s grace to help us forgive. Apart from God, we can do nothing. (John 15:5)
Sometimes it is all we can do to forgive a sibling for an offense. It’s just plain hard, and it takes giving up our pride to do it.
There are sometimes embarrassing or painful affronts that we must put off dwelling on for the sake of God’s glory.
As we hold on to offenses, Satan gains a foothold that becomes stronger and stronger.
Eventually, communication breaks down, and the hardness of hearts takes over.
I remember learning not too long ago really that unless I forgive, Christ won’t forgive me.
Woaaaaaaaa … hold that thought for a moment or two or three!
Here it is in black and white straight from Scripture…
“But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.” Matthew 6:15.
We can argue with each other, but we need not kick against the goads, nor argue with God. No.
Life is short and holding a grudge makes it long.
My husband and I had to learn to forgive each other after having a strong disagreement or fight in our marriage. If we didn’t forgive our communication would come to a stalemate. We were both strong minded but had to learn to bend to each other. That is true for all marriages and relationships really.
Living in peace is the much better road to go through this journey of life.
The more hurts you have endured, the harder it can be to offer forgiveness to someone in your life.
That is because a “stronghold” of unforgiveness can live in your heart.
Our hearts are like stones. In fact, they are sometimes like unmoving, cold, hard boulders.
The good news is God can soften that boulder as we allow Him to do it.
He sometimes has to break the stone into pieces so that heart of stone becomes pliable and workable.
Clay is workable, stone is not.
What are our hearts made of?
To be honest, mine used to be harder than it is today.
God has taught me in the furnace of fire to become pliable in His hands.
That is a hard lesson. Sometimes it means being brought to our knees in repentance.
Other times, it means being open to God’s healing in the depth of our souls.
It always means it is worth it to learn God’s way of doing things.
Remember, as I will also, forgiveness was bought with the precious blood of Jesus Christ.
Remember and believe.