Forgiving Others

Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?” Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times. (Matthew 18:21-22)

How do you repair a relationship when you are not the one who ruptured it? Today, we are going to begin answering that tough question. What do you do when you are not the one that needs to get forgiveness, but the one who needs to give forgiveness?

For many of us, that is going to be a tough thing to do, because it is easier to seek forgiveness than it is to show forgiveness. It is easier to ask for it than it is to give it. C.S. Lewis wisely said, “Everybody thinks forgiveness is a lovely idea, until they have something to forgive.” When someone has offended us, someone has hurt us, someone has sinned against us, and it is their fault, we need to know what God has to say about why we are the ones that should take the first step and how we are to do it.

So today, I want us to take a look at the first aspect of extending forgiveness, and then tomorrow we’ll look at two more aspects.

First, when someone has hurt us, we must be willing to confront them personally. When somebody offends you there is one of two was you can deal with it. You can overlook it, or you can confront it. And while there are times it’s best to just overlook an issue, there are also times when confrontation is necessary.

When we have an issue with someone that needs to be addressed, we are to go to them to address us. We don’t have the right not to confront someone that has sinned against us. Even though you are not the one who broke it, Jesus said you are the one who should take the initiative to try and fix it.

Understand that when someone hurts you, offends you, or sins against you, you don’t think about it. You don’t pray about it, and you don’t talk about it. You go to that person personally and tell them. So if you find yourself in that kind of situation today, I pray that you will take the initiative to confront the person who hurt you so that you can begin the process of extending forgiveness.

Dear Lord, I don’t want to keep brushing things under the rug when people have hurt me. I know that healing can’t come if the wound isn’t exposed. So please give me the courage and the grace to confront the one who’s hurt me so that we can make progress towards redemption. In Jesus’ name, amen.