Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him…Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, until seven times: but, until seventy times seven. Matthew 18:21-22
As Believers, we must walk in unconditional forgiveness period! Regardless of how deeply someone may have hurt us, or how many times they may have done so, we must forgive them and totally forget the offense. After Joseph had been a slave for years due to his brothers selling him into slavery, he told them you meant it for evil but God meant it for good (Genesis 50:20). Truth be told, regardless of how much we have been hurt, none of us has had to forgive someone else as much as God has had to forgive us. Remember sins are not only the wrong actions that we have taken against others (or ultimately against God), but also the actions God has instructed us to take and we have not taken (or things we have omitted/neglected to do). Sins are also the innumerable evil things we have thought about throughout our lives. Doing the wrong things, neglecting other things, and thinking the wrong things are detestable to a pure, untainted, and Holy God but He forgives us and even adopts us into His own family. God has forgiven us much more than we will ever have to forgive other people. Jeremiah 31:34 states, “I will remember their sin no more.” We must not only forgive people, but forget that the offense ever took place. This helps us and the person who has offended us. It helps us because when we forget, we are not constantly injecting our soul (mind, will, and emotions) with venom by rehearsing the offense over and over in our minds. Unforgiveness can lead to stress and physical ailments. It also helps the other person because we are not constantly reminding them of everything they did wrong to us and loading them down with guilt and condemnation. Remember that Romans 8:1 says that “there is therefore now no condemnation.” We must take all this a step further and love the person who has wronged us! Consider the story of the Prodigal Son who left his father’s house, lived in sin, and squandered the inheritance his Father gave him on worthless things, his Father lovingly accepted him home when he decided to return to his Father’s house. When he returned he said, “Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in thy sight, and am no more worthy to be called thy son” (Luke 15:21). The Father totally ignored that statement and instead of lecturing the son and getting revenge He put a fine robe on his son, put a ring on his hand and shoes on his feet, and killed a calf for him to feast on (Luke 15:22-23). He did not rub the son’s sins in his face but lovingly forgave him and forgot the offense. Make a commitment to forgive today. I forgive you!