Billy Ray Parrish
Forgiveness is crucial in a Christian’s walk here on Earth and is desperately needed by many. There are too many people walking around, broken, holding on to things that happened many years ago because they are unable to let go of it. Jesus instructs Peter to forgive four hundred ninety (490) times (Matthew 18:21-22). It may seem odd for Christ to throw out a certain number; seventy times seven times but this was not a mistake.
Christ instructed Peter that he was to forgive others, his brother that sinned against him, many times, again and again. The number is not as important as the act of forgiveness but many people are confused about what it means to forgive someone. Forgiveness is not just the act of telling someone they’ve been forgiven but more importantly, it’s about letting the hurt go. Whatever they did to you or against you; the sin against you, let it go but this can be tremendously difficult to do.
Forgive and forget is not Biblical and while it may sound good, it may have tremendous consequences. That is, just because you forgive someone does not mean you should allow that person/people the opportunity to do so again. When we forgive, we are to let go of the act just as God does for us (Isaiah 43:25). The act of forgiveness is significant not only because we let go of what’s been done to us but more importantly, it’s an act of will and when we decide to do as Christ instructs, we are displaying a conscious decision to follow and obey our Lord and Savior (Deuteronomy 30:19-20).
“For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.”