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#1 User is offline   Wag-a-Muffin (D) 

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Posted 10 April 2016 - 10:28 AM

Explanation: I have been sharing weekly Scripture Verses and thoughts on facebook. This is today's post. (I thought I'd share it here on Right Nation, too.)

I was probably in the first or second grade when I came home from church with the most amazing piece of information which I immediately shared with my mother.

“I learned the neatest thing in Sunday School today. If I just keep track of every time I forgive Liz (my older sister) for being mean to me until I reach 7 times 70, or 490 times--then I never have to forgive her again.”
Oh, how dejected I was when my mother (patiently) explained that I had gotten it wrong.

Confession: I was not well behaved in Church as a child. I did not sit quietly soaking up the good word of the gospel. No, I chatted with my friends, had trouble staying in my seat, and was not a good listener. My first grade school teacher, Mrs. Johnson wrote TALKS TOO MUCH in big red block letters, which got bigger and redder every quarter on my report card.
Backstory: For the first ten or so years of my life my sister was my nemesis. Now, I'm sure we didn't fight more than many siblings. And I'm talking sisterly spats, not broken limbs or bloody battles. And looking back, I'm sure it was difficult for her to have to share a bedroom with her baby(ish) sister until she was in junior high school and I was in the 4th grade.

We're good friends now. And I admire and love her. I'm super thrilled that she has volunteered to go on a Church Education Mission to Lima, Peru for the next 23 months. And no, not because I want her out of the country!
But some of the things I had to forgive her in my early years were: telling me a snail was a walnut and convincing me to bite down on it.
Trading me all my dimes for her nickels, (“Look Beeb—her nickname for me—I'm giving you all my bigger money for your smaller money!”)
And outsmarting me all the time—because let's face it. I was younger and not as knowledgeable.

So, of course I didn't hear the theme of that specific Sunday School lesson on forgiveness, which I will now share, as my Sunday Scripture Stories.

From Matthew 18: 21-22 (If you want to follow along, I'm using the KJV.)

Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times?
Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven.

The next 13 verses are a parable in which Jesus told of a king, who, when going over the books, noticed a subject who owed lots of money. And when the king pointed this out to him, (and that he should repay him) the man said “I don't have it right now.” So the king commanded the man, his wife, his children, and everything he owned should be sold so payment could be made.

The man fell down and begged for more time to repay.
The king was compassionate. Instead of allowing him to make payments, or something like that, he forgave the guy his huge debt.

Wow!

This same servant soon saw a guy who owed him a couple of bucks. He grabbed him by the throat and snarled, “gimme my money now!”
And the guy fell down and begged for a little more time.
But the first servant had the guy arrested, put in jail until the debt was paid off.
And the other subjects of the king felt bad for the guy in jail. So they told the king. And he called the original subject, the one for whom the king had erased that HUGE debt.

"Then his lord, after that he had called him, said unto him, O thou wicked servant, I forgave thee all that debt, because thou desiredst me: Shouldest not thou also have had compassion on thy fellowservant, even as I had pity on thee? And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due unto him. So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses." Matthew 18: 32-35

Yeah, we can read these verses and think, God forgives me so much. If I don't forgive others, I'M IN BIG TROUBLE.

But I like to look at these verses differently, and in light of Matthew 6:14.

For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.

It's not that I “have” to forgive someone or I'll be punished, but instead that I get to forgive others so that I'll be forgiven. The ability to forgive is something I'm thankful for--for “insurance reasons.”

I have participated in a lot of stupid and--if I am being completely honest--willful sinning in my life.
I can't blame my sins on not knowing any better. I was taught right from wrong. It's just, occasionally (often) I chose the wrong.

So I make it a point to try to forgive everyone, as quickly as I can. Because I'm counting on being forgiven when I die.

Now, if forgiving is difficult for you, maybe you just don't understand it.

When you forgive someone who has wronged you, you are not saying what the aggressors did was right, or even justified. What you are saying is, “I give the responsibility of judging those who have wronged me to God, who knows so much more than I do. And who can judge perfectly.”

Forgiveness is not something you give to someone so his sin will be gone. You don't have that authority or power. Forgiveness is something you give to yourself, medicine for your own soul, so you can be released from anguish and heal.

I like this quote from C.S. Grow. (I agree with it completely.)
"Through His Atonement, He heals not only the transgressor, but He also heals the innocent who suffer because of those transgressions. As the innocent exercise faith in the Savior and in His Atonement and forgive the transgressor, they too can be healed."

If there is someone who has wronged you, and you forgive them. It doesn't mean that they get away with what they did. God will still judge them.

But you don't need to hang onto it any longer. You can live your life STRESS FREE knowing that God will judge (perfectly) if they deserve to get off—or if they deserve to pay a big penalty.

Have a super week. (And expect miracles!)

This post has been edited by Wag-a-Muffin (D): 10 April 2016 - 10:30 AM

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#2 User is offline   Jax 

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Posted 10 April 2016 - 03:02 PM

I've thoroughly enjoyed reading your FB missives. So glad I stopped by to read this one here. Couldn't agree more. :)


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#3 User is offline   MrStain 

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Posted 12 August 2016 - 08:47 AM

Very nice, wags!
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#4 User is offline   ilja 

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Posted 08 October 2016 - 06:43 PM

Thank you for sharing this. I love that Bible story.

It was that very story that helped me to forgive a very close family member who had done me wrong in a big way. I just kept hearing God say look at all that I have forgiven you for and you think that's too big for you to forgive? I had no choice once I finally listened.

And after that, my other relatives were able to forgive this one relative too and the forgiveness really set us free from the burden of thinking, complaining and fretting about what happened over and over again. Being angry with someone can drive you crazy and like you said Wags, it's not about saying what they did was okay. And for me it wasn't even that they asked for forgiveness since they did not. As a matter of fact, it's not even feeling with my emotions that I want to forgive. It's a decision and once you make that decision, you can pray afterwards to ask God to bring those feelings to your heart to complete the process.

It reminds me of loving someone. When you choose to love someone, you don't always feel the love, sometimes, you feel just the opposite with your emotions. When you love someone, you make the decision to love them so that you can get past the hurdles.
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