Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Forgiveness

Dear friends,

The Word of God (The Holy Bible) tells us to forgive one another "seventy-times seven".

And you thought that three times was more than enough! Well, don't worry, we've all been there. But God doesn't want for us to respond with our sinful nature. Our natural instinct when wronged is to "get even" or "payback." But JESUS tells us to forgive...not just once, not twice, not thrice, but 70 x 7.

I know, it's not easy. Trust me, I've been there.

Now, for the clever ones out there, I'm sure you're waiting to ask, "Well what happens after I've forgiven someone seventy-times seven? I mean I've met the Lord's requirements, now I can do what I want- right?"

Wrong.

More than doing the math and keeping score, it's important to see the purpose in forgiving someone of so many offenses...somewhere along the lines of you forgiving the person repeatedly, a heart change can take place. The forgiven offender will eventually wonder why you're being so patient and forgiving. They will want to know more about what's causing you to be so gracious. And then, a witnessing opportunity is born. A chance for you to tell them about the God who commands us to live by The Golden Rule which is to "do unto others as you would want done unto you" (Luke 6:31) is yours for the taking. Most beautiful is the fact that as you share God's love and mercy with humanity, it can cause a ripple effect because the person you forgave now wants to experience the joy and peace you have from knowing Jesus Christ! So they are motivated to be like Jesus and forgive others of their offenses seventy-times-seven and like a stone skipping on the surface of a lake, the ripple effect is endless!

All of a sudden, it's not about "paying it back," it's about paying it forward. :)


Here's a song, appropriately titled "7x70" by Christian artist Chris August to illustrate and the story-behind the song, in his words:



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