I notice many Christians struggling with 'unforgiveness' - or rather find it difficult to forgive as Jesus Christ instructs in Matthew 18:22 - forgive seventy times seven times - interpreted as more than the beholder of offence can count consciously.
This is a struggle I too face, when having to repeatedly forgive a repeated offence by a close person. I see it clearly that it is possible to forgive, and also paramount in developing a relationship with Jesus Christ, yet I am unsure how to do this practically?
- I pray releasing the pain to the Holy Spirit, casting my cares onto God knowing that he cares for me.
- I pray for the person, and I release them to the Holy Spirit. I ask for my capacity to love to be increased.
- I pray releasing resentment and ask for more capacity for love instead.
- I pray asking for forgiveness for my reactions to the pain I am caused.
But still I feel pain and want to distance myself. What do I do when I feel pain repeatedly caused by someone I trust and have developed a closeness with? What is the practical machination for forgiveness? Please help. God bless you.
Matthew 6:14-15 (NJKV):
14For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15But if you do not forgive men their tresspasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
Matthew 18:21-35 (NKJV)
21 Then Peter came to Him and said, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven times?” 22 Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.
23 Therefore the kingdom of heaven is like a certain king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants. 24 And when he had begun to settle accounts, one was brought to him who owed him ten thousand talents. 25 But as he was not able to pay, his master commanded that he be sold, with his wife and children and all that he had, and that payment be made. 26 The servant therefore fell down before him, saying, ‘Master, have patience with me, and I will pay you all.’ 27 Then the master of that servant was moved with compassion, released him, and forgave him the debt.
28 “But that servant went out and found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii; and he laid hands on him and took him by the throat, saying, ‘Pay me what you owe!’ 29 So his fellow servant fell down at his feet and begged him, saying, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you all.’ 30 And he would not, but went and threw him into prison till he should pay the debt.
31 So when his fellow servants saw what had been done, they were very grieved, and came and told their master all that had been done. 32 Then his master, after he had called him, said to him, ‘You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt because you begged me. 33 Should you not also have had compassion on your fellow servant, just as I had pity on you?’ 34 And his master was angry, and delivered him to the torturers until he should pay all that was due to him.
35 “So My heavenly Father also will do to you if each of you, from his heart, does not forgive his brother [g]his trespasses.”