Forgiveness is something that we all seek from God. However, how many of us have sought forgiveness from our brothers? How many of us have forgiven those who have wronged us? The question here is not whether we can receive forgiveness from God, God has already forgiven you! The question, rather, who can I forgive?
21 Then Peter came to Him and said, “Lord, how many times could my brother sin against me and I forgive him? As many as seven times?” 22 “I tell you, not as many as seven,” Jesus said to him, “but 70 times seven.
Jesus here gives a great example of what scripture says in Matthew 6:15,
“But if you don’t forgive people, your Father will not forgive your wrongdoing.”
What does the word forgive mean in this verse? Forgive in this verse means aphiém. To send away or to leave alone. It’s clear what Jesus says about forgiveness. To forgive your brother does not mean to simply say it, or to just accept the apology from a brother/sister. It consists of an action. This action is not only to forgive but to also forget. The same that God does to your sins, you must also do to your brothers. Micah 7:19,
“He will again have compassion on us; He will vanquish our iniquities. You will cast all our sins into the depths of the sea.”
Listen, this issue is not simply an issue of advancement or something that can wait on time, no, this is a salvation issue! You want your ministry to grow, you want to reach that next dimension, and you want God to use you, then forgive! Listen, in the book of Job, we know the struggles he went through, the pain he went through. But most of all we see that his friends did not help him. Yet, before God is able to restore Job, Job had to pray for his friends. Look at Job 42:10,
“After Job had prayed for his friends, the LORD restored his prosperity and doubled his previous possessions.”
There was one last thing that Job had to do before he was blessed, one more thing he had to do so that his ministry can start, one last thing so that he can grow, one more thing so that his relationship with God can grow. Listen, in the military, in a time of war the soldier next to you is the guy that might save your life. But, if you are holding a grudge against him, how do you help him? How does he help you? Read Mark 3:24,
“If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand.”
In this world, we fight a daily battle, a spiritual battle. That brother to you will be the one to help you when you are in need. They will be the one to lift you up when you are down. The scripture says in Ecclesiastes 4:9-12,
“9 Two are better than one because they have a good reward for their efforts. 10 For if either falls, his companion can lift him up; but pity the one who falls without another to lift him up. 11 Also, if two lies down together, they can keep warm; but how can one person alone keep warm? 12 And if someone overpowers one person, two can resist him. A cord of three strands is not easily broken.”
It’s obvious what this verse says. But listen to verse 12,
“12 And if someone overpowers one person, two can resist him. A cord of three strands is not easily broken.”
There are two questions that can be asked here,
- Who is that someone who overpower? And…
- What is the three cord strand?
The answers are simple, the man who over powers is the enemy, and the three cord strand is the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. With your brother and the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, together you will overcome the enemy! How do we know this is true? Well, if you are holding a grudge against your brother is that three strand cord with you? Let’s read Matthew 18:20,
“20 For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there among them.”
I want to focus on the word “name” in this verse. What does it mean to gather in “My name”. The word name in Greek is onoma, which means the manifestation or revelation of someone’s character. It means that if we are breaking the very character of God, he will not be among us. Holding a grudge against your brother is doing just that. Without your brother and the three cord strand, you will be overcome. What about James 4:7,
“Therefore, submit to God. But resist the Devil, and he will flee from you.”
The word submit is the Greek word hupotassó which mean to obey. IF we are not forgiving our brothers, are we obeying? If we are not obeying, are we submitting ourselves to God? If so, will we resist the Devil? Will he flee?
Please, comment your thoughts!
The Unidentified Believer