Forgiveness is one of the hardest thing you will ever need to do but it is also the most freeing thing you can do. How many times are we to forgive? The New King James Version translates Matthew 18 to be up to seventy times seven times, while most translations for Matthew 18 tells us up to seventy-seven times. That is a lot of forgiveness for one person to give to someone who transgressed against us. I know that some are repeat offenders and they may never change, but we are still to forgive. But don’t get focused on a set of numbers because if your like me there is no way I could humanly keep an account of how many times I had forgiven one single person.
“Then Peter came to Him and said, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.” Matthew 18:21-22
How about the person who destroyed my character? What about the one who steals for me? How about the one who abuses me? The answer is YES, forgive!!! No matter how much they have hurt you, there is freedom in forgiving. God will be the balm over you and peace can be yours. You just need to be obedient to God and forgive. I know this is easier said than done. Each circumstance is going to have its own process to go through. I know this has been true in my life. Yes, we need to set up boundaries in our life but when we forgive, our reward comes from God. That reward can look different in each circumstance. Let me explain through a circumstance from my life.
As a child, I was sexually molested on more than one occasion by the some family member. This family member was not in my life very long because he was a distant cousin but long enough to distort my view of sex. The details of the attacks are not as horrifying as some that I have heard about. Most of the details seem to be a black screen but there are a few details that I remember and I remember being told not to tell anyone. My parents never knew about the occurrences until well into my marriage. Why do you ask? Because in the seventies that was not something you talked about or was taught to tell an adult about. The attacks were also presented in a natural non threatening way that it was like a secret love, so I felt guilty for allowing them to happen. So way deep down into my subconscious it was placed, not to rear its ugly head until some years later. When the memories began to resurface, I told my husband what had happened to me. But the memories where like an explanation to me for how I viewed sex and why I felt the way I did about certain things regarding sex, yet still feeling guilty. But I again pushed them back down not knowing what to do about these memories. Still a few years went by before I told my parents what had happened. Since that time I have been able to forgive my perpetrator and myself. The freedom that has come over me has been a relief. The reward has been God’s grace that has protected me all these years, and the wisdom from the knowledge of the situation to be able to better protect my son with boundaries that others may not understand.
My prayer is that I will continue to not keep count of how many times I need to forgive. That I will continue to allow God to help me to forgive. I also pray that God will help you to be able to forgive as well.
In His Love, Crisi
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