“ …… Lord, how oft shall my brother [sister] sin against me, and I forgive him[her] till seven times? Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven.” Matt. 18:21,22
She trusted her with her personal problems but just after a few days her personal life issues were spread all over the campus and with added juicy twists. She made up her mind, “She is not truly my friend. I cannot trust her. But I am a Christian, so I will forgive and try to forget and just “love her from a distance.” “I will say hi and bye. That wouldn’t be Christ like if I jam her up, fight with her or ignore her and walk by her without speaking. So, I will speak and that is it. Because she hurt me and I can’t allow this to happen again so I will keep my distance but love her anyway because I am a Christian.”
Sound familiar Christian friends? Many of us believe that this is the best way to go…the safe Christian route.
Based upon the texts reference on this topic, the revelation for me was the fact that even if someone does us harm over and over again, we must forgive, love and continue to relate with that person as if there was no harm done at all.
I tried to share this with someone the other day and she refused to accept this Christ like forgiving lifestyle. Maybe you will refuse or disagree too. Well then take the Bible’s word for it.
Matt. 18 above, Christ says to forgive 70 x 7 times. Paul says to live at peace with
everyone. (Romans 12:18) Christ says to love them and pray for them in Matt. 5:44. He
even says to do good to them that hate you in Luke 27. It’s almost like you have to force
yourself upon someone who doesn’t want you around. And David wrote in Psalms 34:14,
a similar statement saying that we must pursue it as much as possible.
The ultimate example is Christ though, for on the cross after receiving the most cruel,
disgusting and unbearable punishment, he was still in love with His children, still
wanting to follow through in dying for them and he even prayed for us making excuses
for his children pleading, “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.”
Can we do that in the midst of hate-filled torture by the hands of someone we know,
strangers or any other person? It would be really tough. But even with the stabbing in the back, the gossiped about, the rumors spread, the hurtful words, and even physical or verbal harm, we may have had to endure from someone, as a Christian, we must be filled with the love of Christ that we might love our enemies anyway as He does. We must believe and have faith that if we do, Christ will do an amazing thing with the person that is causing the trouble. We must trust Him.
It’s what Christ expects of us. He has given us a clear example.