FCA Ambassador, Rick Radcliffe, posted this lesson yesterday. I thought it fitting for anyone to consider.
Some of this article was taken from the “Wisdom Walks” book.
70 x 7
Wisdom Walks Principal: Forgive…then forgive again.
Forgiveness is an act of the will, and the will can function regardless of the temperature of the heart.
Corrie Ten Boom
How many of you find it easy to forgive? This question is a hard one for me as I have been in the camp of people who have held on to something that a person has done to me and found it hard to forget. In the coaching arena we are faced with people saying things about us regarding how we coach. When coaching you make several on-the-fly decisions during every game. You know the split-second decisions that make or break a game. The crowd who always has the benefit of the instant replay yells out how you blew the game with your decision-making skills. Even the veteran coaches are stung by what people say. You get upset and you are mad that the person has yelled at you and berated your coaching ability.
So why is it so hard to forgive and forget? For one thing it requires humility- something that most of us aren’t very good at. Second, it requires letting go of punishing the other person-or yourself if you were the one in the wrong. Most of us like being in control, even if that control is hurting us and our relationships.
So, when the hurt is fresh in our minds forgiveness can be extremely difficult. We feel that if we hold on to the bitterness and grudges, it will punish the other person. The truth is that when you withhold forgiveness, everybody loses. You carry the destructive emotions of bitterness, anger, and resentment. If it lasts too long the relationship could be destroyed. It is hard enough to extend forgiveness to someone who has wronged you and harder still to ask God for forgiveness when you have messed up. I think to ask for forgiveness means expressing my failure, acknowledging my sin, and accepting responsibility for what I have done.
One of the hardest people to ask for forgiveness from is the person most important to me-my wife. If I take full responsibility, offer no excuses, and don’t shift any blame on her, our relationship is a lot better. When I’m humble and I ask for forgiveness, a strange thing happens: It encourages her to do the same in return.
In the Bible they had the same trouble. Peter asks Jesus,” Lord how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times? The Lord answers, “not seven times, seventy times 7”. Peter thought he was being gracious, after all he thought 7 times was pretty good. So, imagine how Peter felt when Jesus told him 70 x 7. It must have been hard for him to understand that love and forgiveness have no limits.
We all need God’s help with limitless forgiveness. The size of our sin debt that was cancelled on the cross of Calvary should make us marvel. It is a gift that should motivate each of us to pass on the same measure of forgiveness to others. God’s forgiveness is limitless. Shouldn’t ours be as well?
Are you a person who holds on to an offense or willingly forgives? Why?
Think to the last time you offended somebody. Were you quick to ask for forgiveness, or did you avoid it like the plague?
Is it easier to forgive yourself, to forgive others, or to ask for God’s forgiveness? Explain.
Rick Radcliffe | Central Iowa | Field Ambassador
Story behind the song Forgiveness by Matthew West
In the lyrics of this song Matthew West reminds us that when we choose to forgive, that “The prisoner that it really frees is you.” Want to be set free from anything traumatic in your life? Choose forgiveness.
Nate Smith is a college baseball and football coach, a husband, a father of 6 girls, grandpa to 3 granddaughters, a police chaplain, and has a passion to see men grow in Christ.
#girldad including granddaughter