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Forgiving





Matthew 18:21-22

Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, "Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?" Jesus answered, "I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.
 
We often misunderstand or can be insulted by any number of people we mix with.  The one thing we don’t keep in mind is being ‘thick skinned’.  Why should we become ‘thick skinned’?  This makes us less of a target and more of a friendly and approachable person.  People who tend to be offended often are normally sensitive and are constantly hurt by what was or was not said.  They also tend to struggle with forgiveness as whole. 
Learning to be a forgiving person is difficult and we need to do this through faith.  Firstly, if we are to practise forgiveness we will be obeying the word of God.  By doing this we also free our emotions and set our focus wholly on the Lord.  Once we practise forgiveness we become more approachable and less offended.  Forgiveness sets us free from bitterness and the hurt and anger we feel when offended by loved ones or any other people.

Colossians 3:13

Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.
 
Self-control is key, and if I’m not mistaken we should make a conscious decision with regards to forgiving people their mistakes and offenses.  All of this rides on the back of faith, faith in God to help us maintain this part of our lives.  

Confronted with people that aren’t Christians and don’t believe and have our values does pose a problem, but there is a solution to this as well.  We should go to the Lord in humble prayer and commit these people into His hands.  While they do makes us feel hurt or angry we should still keep our faith in God and forgive them.  In the meantime don’t stop praying for them, watch and see how faithful our Lord is.

Forgiving people set you free from becoming embittered and suffering from an un-forging spirit.  My step-son told me the other day it’s like “drinking poison hoping the person that offended you will die”.  They don’t even realise that you feel hurt or harbour resentment towards them.

Take heart and I believe the Lord will honour you in staying faithful to His word, stick to the plan and see Him take you through your difficult situations.

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