I am preaching through a series called “Forgotten Virtues”, and the past few weeks have been somewhat of a wakeup call to the countless things that seem to be missing from today’s culture.
There is a lack of families and couples connecting with each other. There is a lack of honesty in almost every area of life. There is a lack of compassion from many people when you see a person hurting or in need. Do you know what I am talking about? This is a busy time. I live that fact, and it appears that I love it cause it has become the norm. Maybe I really am longing for a simpler time.
Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others.
We all deal with forgiveness. Some circumstances need lots of forgiveness. Other situations aren’t so important, at least it seems that way. Yet forgiveness is a way of life. It ought to be part of our daily lives as we give it and receive it.
I want to suggest that forgiveness is a lost art as well as a forgotten virtue. Would we rather hold a grudge than to forgive?
Jesus told a story in Matthew 18:21-35 about a man who was forgiven the huge amount that he owed, but the same man turned to a person that owed him much less and was unkind and made sure the person was punished. I see this happen from time to time, and it grieves me. God has forgiven us. Stop justifying or categorizing sin. God has forgiven all of them, and when God forgives us and we understand His forgiveness, our lives will change. The way we treat others will change.
Have you seen forgiveness given around you lately? I have, and it humbled me big time. I was almost shocked. It touched my heart. Is there someone you need to forgive? Maybe that someone you need to forgive is yourself.
In the same Scripture of Matthew 18 Jesus and Peter talked about forgiving, and Peter asked how many times he ought to forgive someone. Peter thought he was being generous saying he would forgive up to 7 times. But Jesus said he ought to forgive 490 times, 70 times 7. That is a huge statement. It is not about forgiving a person 490 times. It is about living a lifestyle of forgiveness.
Even if that person wrongs you seven times a day and each time turns again and asks forgiveness, you must forgive.”
A painter prepares his canvass with all the colors and brushes he needs to create art that will catch the eyes of others. An athlete prepares for their event by putting on their uniform and getting their gear in order so they can compete to win. A Christian puts on Jesus each day so that we will live an abundant, full life, and that includes learning the lost art of forgiving.