Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times?
Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven.
~ Matthew 18:21-22
When you pause to think about it, 77 is a lot. Sometimes it’s hard to forgive someone even once. Maybe you’ve already forgiven them and wonder why you should do so again. You may not even think that Christian forgiveness is even an option. However, we must remember that Jesus has forgiven us many more times than this.
Jesus knows that it’s hard to extend grace sometimes. However, He wants us to forgive. He gives us the option to continue to focus on our hurt feelings or see forgiveness for what it really is.
Christians forgiving others is at the heart of Christ’s message to us. Unfortunately, it’s still something with which we struggle. There are many things we must stop to ponder here.
What Forgiveness is Not
To understand the importance of forgiveness in the Bible, we must first understand what forgiveness is not. Forgiveness is not:
- Something that’s based on a feeling
- Forgetting what occurred
- Denying we’ve been hurt
- Ignoring the wrong that occurred
- Giving in to the other person
What Forgiveness Is
Now that we know what Christian forgiveness isn’t, we need to look at what it is. Forgiveness is:
- Freeing ourselves mentally, emotionally, physically, and spiritually
- The key to increased intimacy with God (a.k.a. Spiritual freedom)
- Choosing to let go instead of allowing our pride to rule our souls
How Forgiveness Occurs
Forgiveness doesn’t happen in your strength or power. However, Christ can release us from the emotional prison of unforgiveness if we’re willing to let Him.
How much we value God’s forgiveness is measured by how much we’re willing to forgive others regardless of how deserving we deem them. Remember, we don’t deserve it either. Nevertheless, by Christ’s blood and grace, we’ve been set free.
The Importance of Forgiveness in the Bible
The Bible spends a lot of time stressing the importance of forgiveness. This theme is deeply rooted therein because God wants us to know that when we forgive others, He can remove the anger, pain, bitterness, and resentment from our lives. When this happens, we’ll no longer be controlled by these things. So, who do you need to forgive today?