by Abigailė Tamošauskaitė
We’re living in a time like no other. Many countries of the world are in lockdown, advising social distancing or staying at home altogether. Those of us who are staying with our families will suddenly have to see them a lot more than usual. With different messages about the current situation, some of us have very different ideas of how to deal with it. One of the most important things to remember at such a time is the significance of forgiveness.
“Forgiveness is not a feeling; it is a commitment. It is a choice to show mercy, not to hold the offense up against the offender. Forgiveness is an expression of love” Gary Chapman wrote in ‘5 Love Languages’. We have to remember that this season will pass, but the way we treat people around us right now will affect our relationships in the future.
When we struggle in life, whatever the reason may be, it’s important to remember that Jesus came before us. Whatever we’re facing, He’s already dealt with. Although we may never achieve perfection, striving to be Christ-like gives us the guidance of how we should act.
When it comes to forgiveness, we should forgive others because God first forgave us. Psalms 103:12 says “as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us”. Our transgressions are countless, yet God has removed them all because of how much He loves us.
We learn about forgiving from our Heavenly Father, but we also learn about it from Jesus. Like many of us, the disciples thought there should be a limit to forgiveness. Surely you can’t keep letting go of all the hurt and wrong-doing caused by someone’s actions or words? However, that’s not what Jesus taught us. In Matthew 18:21 we’re given an explanation of what we, as people of God, should do when faced with the need to retain peace with someone.
Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?” Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.
Forgiveness takes discipline and patience. Forgiveness isn’t an easy choice, but it’s a choice we’re encouraged to make. It’s up to us how we handle disagreements in our households. Seeking God in times of trouble is what provides us with peace and wisdom that we need. In a season when the world is filled with fear and worry, fill your home with love, encouragement and forgiveness that comes from God.