From Equilibrium: 31 Ways to Stay Balanced on Life’s Uneven Surfaces.
In the prayer example Jesus offered, He included this as a request we should state:
“And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.” Matthew 6:12
He presented the view that seems off balance but contains the steps toward true equilibrium, one where we aren’t controlled by the rocks and the hills around us:
“For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.” Matthew 6:14–15
Like us, the follower of Jesus named Peter had a question. Jesus, in response, had an answer:
Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?” Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.” Matthew 18:21–22
My math isn’t great but I don’t think Jesus wanted us to keep up with how many times we have forgiven someone so we can refuse to forgive them when they hit that number. I believe He was instructing Peter to stop keeping score. To keep on forgiving. To never ever stop forgiving.
Jesus continued talking about that word, forgiveness. His statements indicate some connection to how we forgive with how we ourselves will be pardoned:
“And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive them, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.” Mark 11:25
“Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.” Luke 6:37
We might as well keep this going. Here are two more texts to include, as we listen in on Paul’s instructions to his original audience and to us:
Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. Ephesians 4:32
Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. Colossians 3:13
Those could be our ways of finding equilibrium. Be kind. Be compassionate. Forgive. And if you aren’t sure about how to forgive, choose to forgive as Jesus did. Bear with each other. If that is hard because of a grievance you have toward someone, forgive them.
And again, if you need an example of how to forgive, forgive just as you are forgiven.
In the Lord’s Prayer, Jesus taught us to ask for forgiveness and to forgive others. He emphasized that if we don’t forgive others, we won’t be forgiven by God. When asked how many times to forgive, Jesus said we should never stop forgiving. We should forgive others as God forgave us. Paul also said to be kind, compassionate and forgiving toward others, just like God forgave us.
This was an interesting blog post post to read. I really enjoyed the section talking about how we should stop keeping track of how many times we forgive someone and instead we should just forgive. It can be easy at times to become frusterated with how many times we have to forgive someone but it is important to remember how many times Jesus offered forgiveness and never kept count or held it over someone’s head. Altogether, I enjoyed this blog post and agreed with the message it says.
I think forgiveness is the hardest and easiest things to do because it’s easy to say we forgive, but it’s hard to actually fully do it. I know for me, it becomes a freedom to truly forgive. You no longer carry a very heavy burden. So I think this is a great reminder that Jesus forgave even some of the worst people and acts yet we will hold a grudge because we weren’t invited somewhere. Be more like Jesus. Love more like Jesus. Forgive more like Jesus.
I think it is very important to forgive. When you hold on to grudges or resentment it puts weight on your heart. God did not intend for us to live carrying this kind of weight which is why it is important to forgive and move on. Forgives does not come easy to most people but is important to learn how you can forgive so that you are able to be a more free human being without that weighing on you.
I think with how prominent this idea of unity is here on campus and how much we have been praying for it, forgiveness is a huge part of unity. We can so easily say we want unity but then not be willing to forgive the people around us. I think to live in true unity, forgiveness must come alongside that.
Forgiveness is really hard. I think about all the times in my life where I have felt disrespected or treated poorly, and it’s really hard for me to forgive. But, when I look on my life, I know for a fact I have been terrible to other people too. Sometimes, I know what I am doing is wrong and I still choose to do it, which makes it even worse. I hope that I can learn to forgive as I have been forgiven in life, and I pray that I can learn to see the intentions of others and myself behind all actions.
This blog post reminded me of something that we discussed in our Delight meeting this past week. In part of the chapter, it talked about taking our faith as a game. I don’t need to ‘gain points’ to reach a certain level of faith; I don’t need to forgive people a certain number of times to complete a quota. My faith is not a game and it is not a competition. Unforgiveness creates division, making room for the enemy to wiggle in. When we forgive, we come together, becoming stronger in unity as opposed to going solo.
I think this is a very important blog. Often times, I find it hard to forgive people, especially if it is more than once for the same thing. This was a great reminder for me to continue to forgive people because it leaves me with not carrying any burdens or hate in my heart. If I walk around bitter because I haven’t forgiven people, then I am not showing the love of Christ to others, but instead I am showing them bitterness and that is not what God wants me to do.
This is a blog that stepped on my toes a little bit. I am a person that finds in hard to be able to forgive people that have done something wrong to me. I would say that I am good at forgiving once, but I just came out of a life of being a people pleaser to a fault. Where is the happy medium where I can forgive people but not let them walk all over me? Does that exist?
As I have read these passages, we see that God lays out the ways in which he calls us to act. I find it interesting that every time the New Testament talks about how we are to act it comes back to love. The source of the way we need to behave is Loving others. And I think that this is particularly interesting because to love is an action, not a feeling. Loving people whether in difficult times or in good times is not something that is done out of a feeling, but rather through tangible actions.