Have you ever been listening to music and a song comes on and for the next week it’s on repeat because it sounds great and it speaks to you in some way? That happened to me yesterday! I was listening to my iPod on shuffle and Forgiveness by Matthew West came on and it’s been on repeat ever since. And when I asked my cousin what my next blog should be about he said he had a conversation with some friends about forgiveness and told me to look up Matthew 6:12-15 so I did and found it really helpful.
“And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. ‘And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen. For if you forgive others for their transgressions, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions.” Matthew 6:12-15
So then I started looking. Because what if you have gotten hurt multiple times by the same person. When is enough, enough? When you don’t have to forgive them because you can’t take it anymore? This is what I found:
“Then Peter came and said to Him, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him? Up to seven times?” Jesus *said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.” Matthew 18:21-22
Do I really have to forgive someone 490 times? Like that’s a lot! How can I do that when I don’t even want to? Trust me there have been plenty of times where I could have forgiven or I need to forgive. Not because that person deserved to be forgiven after what they had done, but because I deserve to be freed from that anxiety of that situation bothering me. Forgiving someone doesn’t mean that their behavior was “OK”. What it does mean is that we’re ready to move on. To release the heavy weight. To shape our own life, on our terms, without any unnecessary burdens. Forgiveness is pure freedom – and forgiveness is a choice.
A time where I had and some times still have to forgive is with my birth father. Never met him and I’ve only really messaged him on Facebook a couple times and even then did he already disappoint me. I really had to step back and forgive him for what he did to me and my mother. And now I have to step back and say you know what, a girl shouldn’t have to beg and plea for a relationship with her biological father and I have to forgive him even to this day. Because when I step back I see that I have a dad that I’ve been living with since 18 days before my 5th birthday, I have a mother who loves me and I have a brother who is my best friend. And with my dad, I have gained another family that loves me more than anything.
And it’s just not about forgiving others, sometimes the very hardest thing to do is forgive yourself. You are your own worst enemy. You can talk yourself out of anything. It’s mind over matter. But like a few friends told me “It takes time. And it isn’t just about convincing yourself that you’ve forgiven yourself. You have to make peace and accept who you are. If you’ve made a mistake, you’ve made a mistake. It’s in the past. But you are still a child of God. You aren’t worth any less than what you are in the eyes of God.” “It is something you have to pray about and learn to cope with.” Both very great advice to not only me but to you ( readers ). These people have reminded me of a quote Saint John Paul the Great said “We are not the sum of our weaknesses and failures, we are the sum of The Father’s love for us.”
This week my prayer for you is that God gives you opportunities to forgive someone in your life. And I challenge you to pray to God and ask how to forgive! Something as simple as this: “Jesus, show me how to love the unloveable, show me how to reach the unreachable, show me how to do the impossible. Show me how to forgive” God Bless!!