Repay Jesus with your forgiveness
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.