Forgiving Others

Forgiving Others by Elizabeth and Jim George

Family time offers many opportunities to gather with people who have hurt us and whom we may otherwise avoid. Thankfully, God’s Word can help us navigate such relationships.

How Many Times Should I Forgive?

One day, Peter asked Jesus a question that had prob­ably been forming in his mind for some time. He asked, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven times?” (Matthew 18:21). Peter was being generous when he sug­gested forgiving someone seven times, for the traditional rabbinic teaching was that an offended person needed to forgive a brother only three times.

However, Jesus’ reply communicated that we need to exercise forgiveness to a much greater extent. “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven” (Matthew 18:22). Jesus taught that forgiveness has no limits. We’re to forgive no matter the number of sins committed!

Then Jesus told a parable that illustrated the concept of unlimited forgiveness in Matthew 18:23-35. He told of a king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants. One servant owed an enormous amount—the equivalent of about a million dollars in today’s economy.

Of course the servant couldn’t pay. According to the custom of the day, the king ordered the servant and his family to be sold as slaves to recoup part of his debt. But when the servant pleaded with his master, begging for time to repay his debt, the master took pity on the servant, canceled the debt, and set him free.

What did the forgiven debtor do? He went out and found another servant who owed him a much smaller amount—the equivalent of a day’s wages. The first servant demanded payment and refused to show mercy toward his debtor. In fact, he had the second servant thrown into prison until he paid the debt.

Others went to the master and told him what had happened, and what his forgiven servant had done to a fellow servant. When the master heard this, he called back the first servant and jailed him for failing to show mercy to a fellow servant, when he himself had been forgiven a much greater debt.

In this parable, Jesus taught that forgiveness should be in direct proportion to the amount we’ve been forgiven. If you are a child of God, all your sins have been for­given through faith in Jesus Christ. When someone sins against you, you are to forgive that person fully from your heart, no matter how many times the act occurs.

This does not mean that you are to continue to place yourself in a position to be abused. But, the spiritual act of forgiving another helps you recall that we are all sinners, and it is God who is judge, not us. As a believer, you have the love of God within you to praise God for His grace to you and forgive another’s actions against you in order that they know that a kind, good, and forgiving God can rescue them from their sin too.

RESPOND:

Jesus, may I always remember with appropriate humility and gratitude the sin condition that was mine without your intervention. Help me to demonstrate this forgiveness to others who have hurt me in order that they may know you and change the direction of their destructive lives.

RENEWING RESOURCES:

A Woman After God’s Own Heart Bible  – with Elizabeth George God’s Word guides us in all matters of life. Pick up this Bible, filled with 365 daily devotions and a yearly reading plan, today!

REFLECT:

Who have I not forgiven for past offenses?

How does God communicate with us about forgiveness?Ask the Lord for His grace is forgiving this person.

REMEMBER:

Forgiveness should be in direct proportion to the amount we’ve been forgiven.


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Jim and Elizabeth George

Jim and Elizabeth George are bestselling authors and national speakers dedicated to helping people live a life after God’s own heart. Together, they have written over 150 books with more than 14 million copies sold around the world. For over 35 years, the teachings and steadfast example of Elizabeth and Jim have helped countless men and women:

  • Simplify life by focusing on God’s priorities.
  • Appreciate God’s Word and apply it to everyday situations.
  • Respond to circumstances with confidence by seeing yourself through God’s loving eyes.
  • Increase closeness in marriage by serving and honoring each other.
  • Powerfully shape the hearts of children and teenagers.
  • Enjoy greater intimacy with God.

Learn more about Jim and Elizabeth George here.

Jim and Elizabeth George

Jim and Elizabeth George are bestselling authors and national speakers dedicated to helping people live a life after God’s own heart. Together, they have written over 150 books with more than 14 million copies sold around the world. For over 35 years, the teachings and steadfast example of Elizabeth and Jim have helped countless men and women:

  • Simplify life by focusing on God’s priorities.
  • Appreciate God’s Word and apply it to everyday situations.
  • Respond to circumstances with confidence by seeing yourself through God’s loving eyes.
  • Increase closeness in marriage by serving and honoring each other.
  • Powerfully shape the hearts of children and teenagers.
  • Enjoy greater intimacy with God.

Learn more about Jim and Elizabeth George here.


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