This is the third post in a series on transforming your relationships. In order to transform your relationships with the sandpaper people in your life, you need to view them from a godly perspective and you need to forgive them. We are called to forgive everyone and forgiveness can be very challenging, but without it we cannot hope for our relationships to improve.
Forgiveness isn’t something that is easy or something that comes naturally to us, but it is something we can do through the power of God’s Holy Spirit working in and through us. He enables us to forgive others just as He forgives us. It is easy to forgive someone who asks for forgiveness because we know they recognized what they did wrong or the fact that they hurt our feelings, but it is much harder to forgive when we don’t think they feel sorry. Chances are that sandpaper person in your life isn’t seeking your forgiveness, but God wants you to forgive them anyway. The forgiveness for our sins is dependent upon us forgiving others.
For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.
So, if we are called to forgive, how often do we need to forgive?
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.
The number 77 doesn’t mean literally 77, but an infinite number. We are to forgive as many times as necessary.
When do you need to forgive that sandpaper person?
“Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift.”
It is more important to God that we be reconciled than what we can offer to Him or how we can serve Him.
The Greek word for forgive means to let go from one’s power, possession; to let go from oneself; it has the essence of letting someone loose. Harboring unforgiveness isn’t harming the sandpaper person; it is harming you. When you forgive someone, you let go of the power of that person’s actions over you; you no longer allow that pain or hurt to have power over you.
Forgiveness is vital to improving your relationship with the sandpaper person in your life, without it, you will allow bitterness to take root in your heart and you will be giving that person the power to continue to hurt, anger and frustrate you. LET IT GO! Forgiveness is about letting it go and allowing the healing power of God to work in you. I know you can’t forgive on your own, but you can with God’s help. Make today the day you let it go, pray God will begin a healing work in you and help you to forgive. Imagine what your relationship would be like if you no longer held onto those hurt feelings, anger and bitterness. It would help you see that person from God’s perspective and not your own.