Our savior imparted a lot of wisdom to us during the time He was on this earth. Possibly one of the most important lessons Jesus taught is forgiveness. What was his lesson, and how do we forgive those who have wronged us? Let’s take a moment to look deeper into forgiveness.
Forgiveness is something that Jesus said is so important. He told us we need to forgive not seven times, but seventy times seven times. He taught a lesson on how important forgiveness is in Matthew 18, but how do we do it in our everyday lives?What did Jesus teach us about forgiveness towards one another? Learn about one of Jesus' most important sermons, the parable of the unmerciful servant. Click To Tweet
What is Forgiveness?
The Greater Good Magazine says this on forgiveness: “Psychologists generally define forgiveness as a conscious, deliberate decision to release feelings of resentment or vengeance toward a person or group who has harmed you, regardless of whether they actually deserve your forgiveness”.
This definition is in line with what we see in the Bible. In other words, forgiveness is letting go of the record of wrongdoing we are prone to keep. It allows us to stop wasting our energy on getting an even score and instead focus on loving the people around us. But what did Jesus say about the subject?
One of Jesus’ most important lessons is found in Matthew 18. In this passage, Peter asks Jesus, “How many times should I forgive my brother? Up to seven times?” Peter was clearly expecting forgiveness to have a limit. But Jesus surprised them by saying “Not seven times, but seventy times seven.”
To Jesus, there shouldn’t be a limit to how many times we release our resentment toward others. He then went on to tell us the Parable of the Unmerciful Servant. In this parable, Jesus tells us of a servant who owed a large sum of money to his master. The master took pity on him and released his debt. But then the servant turned around and was upset with his fellow man for owing him money.
Once the master heard about this, he locked up the ungrateful servant until he could pay his debt back. Here is the point of the story: we have been shown mercy and forgiveness for the sin that Adam and Eve committed. If we do not show the same grace to our fellow people, we are no better than the unmerciful servant.
How Do We Do It?
So how do we do this? Jesus doesn’t really give us instructions on how to forgive in this lesson. According to the Mayo Clinic, one of the best ways to let go of our grudges is to acknowledge our feelings, but then recognize the importance of forgiveness and work towards releasing those emotions.
Sometimes we need help from our peers or our spiritual leaders on forgiveness. It may help to talk to someone about what you are feeling and how to let those feelings go.
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Forgiveness is an essential part of our lives as Christians. Jesus commanded us to forgive freely just as we have been. Letting go of our feelings of vengeance is important for our spiritual and physical health.
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