Friday, July 23, 2010

Is Forgiveness a One-time Event?

"Forgiveness is a process," says Danny. "You can say to someone, 'I forgive you,' and it's just talk. It's not something you feel like doing. It's something you decide to do in order to let it go. No one really wants to forgive when they're hurting so badly. That feels so alien. Who wants to forgive someone who's hurt you so badly? But when you do forgive, you see that God will not only work in your life, but in the other person's."

Forgiveness is a process, not a one-time occurrence. Jesus said to forgive a person who has wronged you seventy-seven times. He was basically saying to stop counting. Each time unforgiveness comes up in your heart, you need to choose once more to forgive.

"It's a daily thing, going before God and saying, 'Okay, Lord, I forgave yesterday. Now I need You to help me do it again today," says Laura Petherbridge.

The act of forgiving will be something you will need to choose, apply, and practice. You can make forgiveness a lifelong habit by training your mind to reject those thoughts that would cause you to harbor unforgiveness, resentment, or blame.

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

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