Many times, Christians forget what Jesus told us in Matthew 18:21-22. “Then Peter came up and said to him, “Lord, how often will my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you seven times, but seventy-seven times.”
Seventy-seven times meant indefinitely. We are to forgive. The Bible says that we are to forgive, and it is referenced in the Lord’s Prayer. See Matthew 6:9-13, “9 Pray then like this: “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name.10 Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. 11 Give us this day our daily bread,12 and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. 13 And lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil.”
See verse 12. We are to forgive debts and the sins people commit against us. If we forgive, we likewise will be forgiven. But if we do not forgive, let’s see what the Word says a little farther in Matthew 6. See verses 14 and 15. “14 For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, 15 but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.”
There it is!!! If we do not forgive others, our Heavenly Father will not forgive us. That is powerful and it speaks volumes. If we profess to truly love our Heavenly Father, we will also love our neighbor. But if we hate our neighbor, then how can one love God?
How many times have you offended someone and then you ask and seek forgiveness and they say they forgive you but alienate you? That doesn’t seem like they have forgiven. It appears they have put up a wall or a boundary to where they might be trying to protect themselves from you. But if you are a loved one, that does not reflect the love of Christ to forgive. Certainly, if there is an unhealthy pattern, then all parties should seek a Christian counselor or pastoral counselor. But alienation does not solve the problem, nor does it allow for the other party to seek forgiveness from you or make amends.
Relationships can be very messy, but Christ Jesus gave us guidelines to live out our Christian lives to follow. I pray that if there are people who have broken relationships, seek the Lord and pray that God will forgive you of your part, then ask forgiveness of the party you have become estranged from. Jesus wants us to have healthy relationships through Him. I pray that you will seek forgiveness and offer forgiveness so that our Heavenly Father will forgive you.
Copyright June 10, 2022. Marketplace Evangelism Ministries Inc. All Rights Reserved.