Re­pay Je­sus with your for­give­ness

Deniliquin Pastoral Times - - NEWS - ~ Con­tributed by Cap­tain San­dra Walm­s­ley of the De­niliquin Sal­va­tion Army, on be­half of the Com­bined Churches of De­niliquin

In light of Mon­day’s apol­ogy to those who have suf­fered at the hands of oth­ers while in in­sti­tu­tional care, we look at the topic of for­give­ness, and at what our part might be as be­liev­ers.

Per­son­ally I have a hard time ad­just­ing to peo­ple I know be­ing abused, but more than that, the peo­ple I looked up to, as a child, have now been in­car­cer­ated for their part in the in­jus­tice.

How do I for­give them when they have not im­pacted me per­son­ally?

How do I for­give them on be­half of those who have been hurt?

Firstly, I have to hear their sto­ries and truly lis­ten to their hurt and an­guish, then I have to em­pathise with those who have been wronged, and see the in­jus­tice in it.

Only then can I be im­pacted and see the need for jus­tice and for for­give­ness.

God never of­fers to take away the con­se­quences of our sin, but for­give­ness is to move past the hurt and bit­ter­ness of the ac­tion.

Mark 11:25 re­minds us ‘‘ And when you stand pray­ing, if you hold any­thing against any­one, for­give them, so that your Fa­ther in heaven may for­give you your sins’’.

You see, we are for­given, so that we can for­give oth­ers. Not an easy task. For­give­ness is at the crux of our Chris­tian faith. Je­sus died on the cross for the for­give­ness of sins (Luke 24:46-47, Matthew 26:28).

In turn, God com­mands that we for­give those who sin against us: ‘‘As the Lord has for­given you, so you also must for­give” (Colos­sians 3:13c ESV).

When his dis­ci­ple, Peter, asked him how many times he should for­give, Je­sus es­sen­tially an­swered, for­give and keep on for­giv­ing — ‘‘seventy-seven times’’, a fig­u­ra­tive num­ber sug­gest­ing con­tin­u­ing re­newal.

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