Forgiving Others

Gilson LacerdaOctober/November 2023 WOFLeave a Comment


I LOVED HEARING my father-in-law teach on Mark 11:22–24. For a point of reference, let’s review those scriptures. “And Jesus answering saith unto them, Have faith in God. For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith. Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.”

Reading and believing this passage raised him from the deathbed at age 16. He spoke on those verses often. I never grew tired of them. However, I wasn’t as excited about the scriptures that came immediately after.

He continued to Mark 11:25–26, “And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses. But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses.” Then he would say, “If you don’t practice Mark 11:25, your faith will not work.”

If we want to live a successful life, we must learn to forgive. Some people find it easy to forgive. Others do not. Forgiveness is not an option for the Christian. It’s a command.

Forgiveness isn’t easy to master, is it? When someone hurts us, lets us down, or disappoints us, it’s hard to forgive them. We can be gracious and understanding when it happens once. But when someone hurts us several times, we determine we can’t forgive them again. Jesus understood how important forgiveness was. I’m sure He knew we would have many opportunities to forgive each other.

Matthew 18 covers many subjects that Jesus instructed His disciples on. They asked questions and He answered them. Peter asked in Matthew 18:21–22 (NLT) “ ‘Lord, how often should I forgive someone who sins against me? Seven times?’ ‘No, not seven times,’ Jesus replied, ‘but seventy times seven!’

The Jews of that day taught you could forgive someone as many as three times for an offense, but after the fourth time, there was no forgiveness. Peter knew Jesus’ heart of compassion, so he doubled the number and added one. “Is seven times enough, Lord?” What did Jesus say? Seventy times seven, which equals 490 times.

Most people have difficulty forgiving one time. I’m sure your thoughts could be like Peter’s, “Why would we want to forgive seven times?” Jesus was saying it’s not about a number; it’s about forgiving. In the light of the enormous forgiveness that God gives us, how can we do anything but be just as forgiving?

Jesus said in Matthew 5:7 (NASB), “Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy.” Any wrong that has been done to us cannot compare to the wrong we’ve done in God’s eyes, and He has forgiven us. He sent His Son to die on our behalf to pay the debt we owed for our sins.

When we refuse to forgive others, we are not only breaking God’s law, we are breaking His heart. Forgive is defined as “to cease to feel resentment against an offender.” Forgiveness is a choice. Just as we choose to hold a grudge—to keep a record of all the wrongs done to us—we choose to forgive.

Forgiveness isn’t an action of the mind or emotions. It’s an action of the will. If you wait until you feel like forgiving, you’ll never get there. Being hurt is an emotional event and emotions don’t heal by themselves. They heal with the help of your will.

The Bible says a lot about forgiving. “Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you” (Ephesians 4:31–32 NLT).

How do we forgive? Jesus gives us the formula in Matthew 5:44, “Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you.” The Lord brought these scriptures to me years ago when I was struggling with forgiveness. It changed my life, and it will do the same for you.


Lynette Hagin

Lynnete Hagin

Share this Post

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *