Regular readers of this Blog, (that's just you and me, the two of us), will know that I often post humourous articles and fun stories here.
I know from analysing the stats that these articles often attract new readers who came here by searching for "jokes", "fun" or other similar words and, having found me, hopefully spend some time looking at the other more serious Christian posts; and hopefully get to know Jesus through what I write.
As I look at life around me, in my locality or on a wider scale through the news media, I notice that as a human race we still have not learnt to forgive.
We may well have advanced in numerous fields such as science, technology, the arts and so on ... but we're still unable or unwilling to learn the very basics regarding mutual peaceful existance.
We've all been hurt in life at one time or other. Some more than others. The hurt runs deep and the wounds are still raw and painful. No one is immune to being hurt.
The trick is - what do we do next?
Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, if my brother keeps sinning against me, how many times do I have to forgive him? Seven times?” “No, not seven times,” answered Jesus, “but seventy times seven.” Matthew 18: 21-22
According to my calculator this adds up to 490 times. But I'm sure Jesus did not mean to limit us to that number.
How do we forgive?
True forgiveness means that we no longer hold something against the one who hurt us. No thoughts of revenge, retribution, punishment or anything like that. We just let what they have done pass away and we move on.
Someone asked me the other day – I have forgiven but cannot forget the pain and hurt caused to me. Does that mean I’ve not really forgiven?
The simple answer is:
If none of the feelings mentioned above are in our hearts – then we have truly forgiven.
Jesus asked us to forgive. Not to forget.
Of course we'll remember the hurt. The more the hurt the more we'll remember as every day something happens to remind us. This is natural.
The second trick is:
We use every remembrance of the hurt to forgive once again.
We also use every remembrance to pray for the one who hurt us. We hand that person over to God as well as the hurt itself.
You cannot possibly hate someone you are praying for.