Have you ever reacted or spoken out the best intentions make mistakes of haste? The answer to the question is probably, YES I have. There are times when people acting on emotion or impulse, sometimes fall into temptations and desperately need forgiveness. Family, friends, co-workers and church family, in spite of best intentions make mistakes. It is a fact of our lives that we all make mistakes. None of us are perfect and we will all commit sins from time to time (Romans 3:21-23). When we sin, what is important is our reaction following our misstep. Each of us must confess the sin to the person we have hurt and immediately ask them to forgive us. We must also ask God to forgive us and know that He will.
If the person who has harmed us or said something to hurt us and asks for our forgiveness, what does the bible say our response and reaction should be?
Romans 12:17 says, “Never pay back evil for evil to anyone. Respect what is right in the sight of all men.
1 Corinthians 13:4-7 reminds the forgiving person that love is the key; “Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.”
Matthew 18:15-17 says seek repentance; “If your brother sins, go and show him his fault in private; if he listens to you, you have won your brother. But if he does not listen to you, take one or more with you, so that BY THE MOUTH OF TWO OR THREE WITNESSES EVERY FACT MAY BE CONFIRMED. If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector.”
Accepting forgiveness is a command. Write the words of Jesus on your heart. He tells us in Luke 17:3-4, “Be on your guard! If your brother sins, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him. And if he sins against you seven times a day, and returns to you seven times, saying I repent, forgive him.” It takes a big person to know they are wrong and an even bigger person to admit and say they are wrong. Sometimes , it’s as simple as saying, “I was wrong and I’m sorry.”
This article was written by Lillie Montgomery. She and her husband Eddie worship in Pahrump, Nevada at Desert Church of Christ. This is a small church of 10-15 people. If it wasn’t for Lillie and Eddie, the church probably would not exist. Please pray for them as they work in the Lord’s kingdom.