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So watch yourselves.
“If your brother or sister sins against you, rebuke them; and if they repent, forgive them. Even if they sin against you seven times in a day and seven times come back to you saying ‘I repent,’ you must forgive them.”
Luke 17:3,4 NIV
Forgiveness is not about or for the other person, it is about and for us. We must release ourselves from the negativity, poison, darkness, and suffocating environment that will slowly but surely kill us. Instead we must forgive each and every time. We must forgive, let go, and not harbor or dwell on what was done to us.
Jesus did not say we had to resume some type of close knit relationship with those who sin against us; he simply said to forgive them when they repent. Forgive to release yourself so you can walk in peace. Forgive so that even when you see the one who sinned against you, your heart is not cold and hardened.
Even when we rebuke a person, let love guide you to walk away without stooping to the other person’s level.
Jesus didn’t rebuke people and then act a fool like them. His wisdom and Light propelled Him above them so that when He refused to deal with them, He remained empowered and it drained the other person of their essence and being (by their doing, not His). It left the other person empty, and oftentimes desiring a fullness that could only come from the Son and our Father.
It really doesn’t matter if the one who hurts and offends you apologizes and repents. That’s between them and God. What matters most is your response, your reaction, your heart. God is looking at you to see if your heart will forgive and let go, or harden and shut down; will you be receptive or closed off, free or enslaved—those are our choices.
Father I am learning to forgive those who sin against me even when they do not voice repentance. Touch my heart to always see them as Your child, even when they have aligned themselves as my enemy.
Touch my heart to be graceful and dignified even when I have urges to get loud, ignorant and disruptive, or just spiteful. To rebuke them should not be disrespectful to and of You.
I know that the act of forgiveness is about me and not them, and for that reason I choose to follow Jesus’s direction and commandment.
In Your name and His I humbly pray. Amen.