Forgive 70 x 7 times! What’s with that? (Guest Blogger)

Last week we took a look at the importance of adding godliness to our perseverance. This week, our Guest blogger, will share an example of how godliness changes the way we think and make our decisions.

Yesterday when I awoke my son for school, he said he was sick. I wasn’t sure “how sick he was” but it is difficult to tell someone else how they feel, so I let him stay at home as this is an uncommon occurrence. When I was about to leave for work I was convicted, as I hadn’t prayed for my son. I realized that it was because I wasn’t fully convinced how sick he really was; then the Word of the Lord came to me from Matthew 18:21-22. 21Then Peter came to Him and said, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven times?” 22Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.” It was then that I understood this verse in a practical way. I had doubted my son, and this doubt caused me not to pray for him. I repented and we prayed together for Jesus to heal him.

The revelation I received upon hearing the verse was how important it is for me to always believe the best in people, even if they are not being their best. When I believe the best in others I behave with Christ-like character and I see people the way God wants me to see them. People are imperfect, as I am also. When I believe the best in others I am able to extend grace and mercy because I have replaced negative, judgmental thoughts with charity (love). Then I am able to demonstrate Gods mercy and grace to others.

The reward is far greater to believe the best in others than it is to see their worst. I have peace of mind, when I stay focused on Jesus (avoid distracting thoughts) and remain in fellowship with Him and His Will for me. Jesus has been working this principal into my spirit for a short time and to ensure I see God when I look at others I began thinking of people in two groups. Group 1 includes those that are already saved by Jesus Christ and have God’s Holy Spirit living inside of them. Group 2 includes people that are not saved, and have the potential for God’s Holy Spirit to live inside them. Either way, God being “out of time” knows who I encounter that He has placed His Holy Spirit, now or in the future, and therefore it is important for me to see people this way. People are important to God.

I am awe struck to think that out of all of God’s creation only man was created in Gods image and it’s the only place where He places His Holy Spirit. I think of 1 John 4:20-21, 20 If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen? 21 And this commandment we have from Him: that he who loves God must love his brother also.

It’s not always easy to see the best in others, especially when you feel that other Christians have mistreated you. This can be the worst type of hurt; it’s difficult to say, “Forgive them Lord for they know not what they do” when you can’t help but feel they should have known better. It’s in these times that we need to see the best in others and keep our focus on Jesus otherwise negative thoughts will choke out the peace that Christ left for us.

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