Monday, October 14, 2013

Off the Hook

I've been writing about loving others as ourselves, which is definitely a lofty goal.  One of the things that makes it challenging to love others is that sometimes it is hard to overlook an offense, much less love, when we feel wronged by someone.

It's especially difficult when we've been hurt more than once by the same person.

There's an old saying:  "Fool me once, shame on you.  Fool me twice, shame on me."  In other words, we should guard ourselves from a person who has hurt us and not give them a second chance.

Child of God, I'm here to tell you that a Christian lives an opposite life from a worldly person.  Whereas our culture would say, "Don't give them another chance," we are called to forgive 70 times 7.  

Does that mean when someone abuses us, we just sit there and let them beat us up?  No, I think it means we remove ourselves from the situation, but we work through it with God until we feel no more bitterness in our heart and are able to forgive, love and pray for that person.

The great thing about it is that God doesn't ask us to do anything that He Himself does not do.  He forgives us over and over - often for the same thing.  The Word tells us He is faithful and just to forgive us if we confess our wrongdoing.  It says there is fresh mercy every morning.  He forgives us even knowing in His omniscience that we will mess up again.

Jesus told a story about a person who owed the king a great debt.  A debt that would forever bankrupt him because of his inability to pay.  So the king had mercy on him and forgave him.  What did the guy do when he realized he was free from repayment?  He went to a guy who owed him money and mercilessly had him thrown in debtor's prison.  In other words, the very thing he was guilty of doing, he wanted someone else to receive punishment. Therefore, the king withdrew his forgiveness from the first person.

We are told in the Word that if we will not forgive, we will not be forgiven either.

He lets us off the hook.  Can we do no less?

Scriptures for further study:
  • Matthew 6:14-15
  • Matthew 18:21-35
  • Mark 11:25-26
  • Luke 6:37
  • Luke 17:3-4
  • Lamentations 3:22-23




This post is Day 15 of my series, 31 Basics for Believers.  You can find all the posts here.


i'm doing it!

I'm linking my series to a whole passel of bloggers who are blogging on one subject for 31 days.  There are topics for everyone!  If you like to join in, visit the Nester at her blog, Nesting Place.


2 comments:

Joyful Reader said...

sorry I haven't been around for a few days! I have really missed you! This hits home for me. There are days that I don't struggle with this as much as other days. But on those days the enemy really will bring to mind every wrong a particular person has ever done to me or my family and it is hard to work through. It can only be done with prayer...lots of prayer!

Susanne said...

I love reading posts on forgiveness because I think it's something we will work on our whole lives. The "70 x 7" Jesus calls us to is so hard to wrap our finite brains around at times especially when we feel we have the right to hold onto anger. But it only ends up hurting us more if we don't forgive.