In the Old Testament, Peter questioned Christ saying, “Lord, how often oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Till seven times? The Lord responded saying, “I say not unto thee, Unity seven times; but, until seventy times seven” Sadly, the savior isn’t saying we only have to forgive 490 times.
The Savior’s response to Peter was very profound. In that time, forgiveness was put behind their ideas of justice. If someone wronged you, you hurt them back, that’s just how life was. Then Jesus came saying, “Forgive seventy times seven times”, “Turn the other cheek”, “Love thy neighbor as unto yourself”. His message of love and forgiveness was a lot more powerful than a sword can ever be. Forgiving others is one of the most important commandments ever given. If we obey all of God’s laws, but hold grudges and never forgive others and ourselves, He will be very displeased. God is perfect at forgiving. People curse Him every day, use His name in vain, and turn their backs on Him all the time, yet, He will forgive without question, if we are willing to repent. We need to be the same.
In Harper Lee’s wonderful novel, To Kill a Mockingbird, Atticus Finch says, “You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view… Until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.” This is only one of many magnificent quotes from the book. If all people applied this quote to their lives, think of how much better the world would be. There would be so much more understanding, love, and much less contention. Sadly, not everyone lives by these standards, but applying it to your own life will send a message that everyone around you will see.
Forgiving others is great, and wonderful, but there’s another type just as important; forgiving yourself. It’s easy to cling to sins, and degrade our self-worth, clinging to them, and never getting past mistakes. We are humans. We WILL sin, and we WILL fall for the devil’s temptation, but we need to repent, forgive ourselves, and move on so we can please God. The sooner we can forgive ourselves, the sooner we can forgive others.
Forgiving is hard, it’s a difficult thing to do, but always know that the Lord has your back. He wants to, and will help you every stage in your life. The best way to forgive, is to pray to Christ, ask Him for His help, and He will help you every time you are willing to receive His inspiration. Always remember, God will forgive you, and expects you to forgive others.