A Hard Teaching

TUESDAY, THIRD WEEK OF LENT

A Hard Teaching

“How often should I forgive? As many as seven times?” Jesus said to him, “Not seven times, but I tell you, seventy-seven times.” —Matthew 18:21-22

I know a 73-year-old woman who decided to give up her grudges for Lent. She said she had nursed a couple of them for decades but realized that she finally wanted to be free of them. She figured Lent was as good a time as any to practice forgiveness. She made that the focus of her Lenten prayer and repeatedly asked God to relieve her from the ill-will, resentment, anger, and bitterness she experienced when she thought of particular people. Come Easter Day, she truly felt free from any lingering hurt from the others in her life. She told me she learned the truth of Jesus’ point—forgiving someone seven times is not always enough. It is not a “one-and-done” or even “seven-and-done” deal. She had to practice continually forgiving others until God finished the healing within her.

FOR PRAYER:

What person(s) have you not been able to forgive yet?

Spend some time now asking God to give you freedom from the anger or pain you feel.

If you cannot bring yourself to want to forgive someone, tell God that in honesty, and ask for the desire to have the desire to forgive.

2 Comments

  • Cheryl R Parker

    I think the only people I’ve not forgiven are 2 wife beaters, that also did me wrong (not that way, thank goodness). I just can’t forgive them for what they did to my friends. Neither is sorry for what they did. One friend is still dealing with what her ex did to her, even though she’s been divorced from him for over 2 decades. Some physical and mental hurts just don’t heal. I am sad that neither men are sorry for what they did.

    • Vanda

      Some of the more serious offenses is very difficult to forgive. And sometime the healing takes a lifetime to happen. I think we all hope that we can heal overnight, but in most cases this is a rather long process. Continue to pray for the Holy Spirit to work in the hearts of these men, until they see what they have done wrong and repent of their wrongdoings.

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