Later, Peter approached Jesus and said, “How many times do I have to forgive my fellow believer who keeps offending me? Seven times?”Jesus answered, “Not seven times, Peter, but seventy times seven times!” Matt.18:21-22. (TPT)
Friends, I hope you are well this afternoon. Here in Durban, we are having a sunny, beautiful day and are looking forward to the weekend. Today I want to talk about a topic that most of us do not feel comfortable talking about, and some would rather die than consider forgiving someone.
I have observed lives destroyed because of unforgiveness. I have also witnessed people dying without forgiving others, and in most cases, God gave them endless chances to forgive, but they choose unforgiveness. As I write, I feel the pain in my heart thinking about these issues, how the enemy robs us of our Inheritance in Christ through unforgiveness, and how we miss the joy of living a life free of grudges.
We all have that one person in our lives who have qualified for a 70X7 forgiveness. That person is the one we are required to forgive about seventy times seven, which is about four hundred and ninety times in a day. There is always an issue with them, and it does not matter how you try to resolve it; the problem doesn’t seem to go away. Then, we are left with two options, to continue to forgive or decide if we will never forgive that person.
We must also understand that there is a reward for forgiving others, and there is also a reward for choosing not to. The decision we make can lead us to an endless path of open wounds that comes with prolonged grief and unfulfilled life, or they can lead us to a journey of healing and restoration. I have observed that some people would hold onto prolonged grief, hurt, offenses rather than letting go and allowing God to heal and restore them and equips them in dealing with forgiveness issues. As with fear, the issue of forgiveness never leaves us alone; we are confronted by it daily.
The 70X7 Spiritual Thermometer
Until we get to a stage where we forgive one person endless times, we will continue to suffer in many other areas of our lives. As with are in pursuit of our first love, checking daily, our spiritual thermometers have become crucial.
Christ forgave even the sins we are still going to commit, and we have committed to learn from Christ and live like Christ. So this day calls us to consider the condition of our hearts in terms of forgiveness. Unforgiveness is the main reason many will find themselves in hell.
As we prepare ourselves for the second coming of Christ, may we also be diligent in forgiving others! Below I have listed ways to identify if you are struggling to reach a point of 70X7 in your relationships.
- If you still feel the pain when you talk to them, or even thinking about them, then you still need God to take you through the journey of healing until you feel the peace required.
- Suppose the matter keeps you awake throughout the night for many days, sometimes for even years. Then you need God to help you overcome so that you may start the journey of healing.
- Maybe you have never taken a conscious decision to forgive, or perhaps you have decided not to go through the process. May God give you the strength to make this huge decision that has so many rewards.
Below I am sharing the advantages and disadvantages centered around the issue of forgiveness.
Advantages of Unlimited Forgiveness
- By offering unlimited forgiveness, you are giving God full control over your life. God wants us to forgive others as He has forgiven us, and He can divinely intervene in your life without any hindrance.
- Unclogged souls align with the flow of the Holy Spirit.
- Unlimited forgiveness promotes purity in our hearts, which yields to healing and restoration, and healthy relationships.
- Absolute forgiveness impact your prayer life and your walk with God.
- Some say it promotes a long life span.
Disadvantages of Limited Forgiveness
- By offering limited forgiveness, you are giving the enemy full control and power over your life.
- You keep doors open to the enemy to terrorize your life with all kinds of problems. Not all situations are because of forgiveness issues; some challenges are tests that God has allowed in our lives for specific purposes. But there some cases we keep on encountering because of the condition of our hearts.
- You block spiritual health in terms of your prayer life and your walk with God.
- Unforgiveness impacts your health and the quality of relationships in your life.
- It is one of the sins that will land you in hell because, in Matthew 18, the servant who refused to forgive ended in hell.
May you find courage this day to forgive no matter the situation. May you allow the Holy Spirit to perform a deep surgery in your soul and heal the open wounds. May you allow God to restore you so that you may enjoy life in abundance.