Be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you. Ephesians 4:32
Then Peter came to him and asked, "Lord how often should I forgive someone who sins against me? Seven times?" "No, not seven times," Jesus replied, "but seventy times seven!" Matthew 18:21-22
God has forgiven us countless times and proved it by dying for our sins on the cross. So just as He has forgiven us we must forgive others. This is very difficult at times especially when someone hurts us repeatedly. As we think about forgiving others maybe we should first think about all the times God has forgiven us for doing the same things over and over. Ouch! The truth hurts doesn't it?!
Many of us hold grudges against others and are unwilling to forgive right away. This causes our frustrations to build up into anger and only further damaging ourselves. This damages our body, mind, and soul and puts a distance between us and God. Here is a quote from Matthew Kelly who wrote Rediscover Jesus - An Invitation. "When we choose not to forgive, we turn our backs on God and the-best-version-of-ourselves."
Forgiveness is for us not the other person. I want you to think about something for moment. While we are stewing on the reasons we make up for not forgiving others they are out living their lives not giving you a second thought . We are like spoiled little brats saying, "I don't want to forgive them." The only way we are going to feel better and have peace in our life is to forgive.
Remember Jesus saying, "Forgive them for they know not what they do." Sometimes people hurt us and they don't even know what they have done. If Jesus can forgive the ones who crucified Him I know we can find it in our heart to forgive others who have wronged us.
We know that God forgives us time and time again for all our sins and wrongdoing. This is easy for us to accept. What about forgiving yourself? I know this is hard for some of us and maybe harder than forgiving others. (We can be our own worst enemy.) I really hope this will help you. When we sin or make a mistake even if it is huge take the time to learn from it. Correct it if you can and if it is something done in the past leave it there. We can't go back in time to change something, but we can certainly do better next time. This is very important to remember. Another key factor is love yourself through all of life's mishaps. No one is perfect and we never will be. Move on and try to do your very best is all that is asked of anyone.
God is so generous in how often He forgives us and shows us mercy. Which reminds me of one of the beatitudes. Blessed are the merciful, For they shall obtain mercy. The merciful are those who relate to others with a forgiving and compassionate spirit. (Just as Ephesians 4:32 states.) Imitate God, therefore in everything you do, because you are His dear children. Live a life filled with love, following the example of Christ. Ephesians 5:1-2a. Just as God showed us mercy, we should show mercy to others. We can imitate Him and manifest a forgiving and compassionate spirit.
Today if you need to forgive someone I encourage you to do so. Also, forgive yourself if need be. Please take the time today to listen to TobyMac-Forgiveness ft. Lecrae. I just listened to it myself. I prayed it will pick you up because we all need forgiveness!