January 5, 2018
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. – Matthew 18:21-22
Years ago, an ugly injustice happened to me. At the time, I was a rather new Christian, but God prepared me for it before it happened. While vacuuming one day, God spoke to me above the noise of the vacuum. Three times He asked me, “What if ‘so and so’ had done ‘such and such’?” I thought the enemy was causing me to think bad things and pushed those thoughts from my mind. However, a short time later, two letters came in the mail from someone close to me. They contained a confession of a wrong done against me.
That person had become a Christian and was seeking forgiveness. I did forgive, and I never mentioned the incident to anyone. I treated that person as though it had never happened—but I kept the letters. I did not know what I intended to do with those letters, but I had them hidden in a safe place. One day, years later, I asked myself the question, “Why am I holding onto these letters?” If anyone found them, that person could be hurt.
Although I had thought it was sufficient to forgive, I did not take forgetting seriously. I had kept those letters, which had that person’s sins written in black and white. I finally destroyed them, making my forgiveness complete. Now, in my heart I feel what Paul wrote: “This one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:13-14).
It is wonderful that in God’s Word, we find promises like, “As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us” (Psalm 103:12), and, “I have blotted out, as a thick cloud, thy transgressions, and, as a cloud, thy sins” (Isaiah 44:22). God’s forgiveness is complete, and with His help, ours must be also.