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Forgive others

Some people say that time is a great healer. And, for some people, that’s true.

Time can also be a great aggregator of hurt. And if you don’t realize that and deal with it correctly, you can end up in a lot of trouble with God.

You know, there are some people with whom you deal with often, if not daily. These are people like your spouse, your kids, your parents, your co-workers. And they rub against you in different ways. They have habits that irritate you. They speak words that incense you … and this reminds me of a story.

Let me tell you a story about how I once said something to incense my wife. We were in a public place, attending a show. Two rows away, there was someone with whom I had lost contact. So my wife asked me to say "Hi," to him.

Now I didn’t really want to talk to him. But she didn’t realize that. She asked me once. Then, a little later, she asked me the second time. And then, when the show ended, she asked me the third time!

That was too much for me. For reasons not quite clear to me, I blurted out, in front of all the people around us, and rather loudly, "You know, you should mind your own business."

People stopped, and turned, and stared. I felt like finding a hole to crawl into.

Later, I apologized.

It took her a while to cool down and get over it and forgive me. But she did. And I was glad that she did.

I wasn’t just glad for my sake, but for her sake too. You see, if she didn’t forgive me, then God would not forgive her, and she would end up in Hell.

God wants all of us to go to heaven. But there are conditions. One of them is that He forgives us only if we forgive all those who sin against us.

Consider Mt 6:14-15.

Mt 6:14-15 14 "For if you forgive others for their transgressions, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive others, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions."

Jesus was teaching His disciples to pray. After He teaches them, He goes back and underlines just one aspect – the one about asking God to forgive you on the basis of you forgiving others.

Now Peter had a hard time with this. He struggles mentally about it through chapter six. And seven, And eight. And all the way up to chapter eighteen. Finally, in chapter eighteen, he asks, "How often must I forgive?"

Mt 18:21 Then Peter came and said to Him, "Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him? Up to seven times?"

Then Jesus tells him that he needs to forgive as many times as necessary, and then reminds him that God will not forgive him if he doesn’t forgive his brother from the heart.

Mt 18:34-35 34 "And his lord, moved with anger, handed him over to the torturers until he should repay all that was owed him. 35 "My heavenly Father will also do the same to you, if each of you does not forgive his brother from your heart."

Now listen carefully – evil and irresponsible people, who have no regard for the words of Jesus, will try and give you all sorts of reasons why this condition of forgiving others is not applicable. Pay no attention to them. At the end of the age, their words won’t matter. But Jesus’ words will. He Himself told us that heaven and earth will pass away but His words won’t.

So then, realize that through the course of your life, lots of people will do a lot of bad things to you. Some will do these things intentionally, and some unintentionally. Some will be little bad things, and some will be big bad things. You have to forgive them all.

It is not easy, but it is possible. When you realize how much you have sinned against God and yet He has forgiven you, you will be more inclined to forgive others.

When you leave them in God’s hands, God will avenge you, in the proper way, at the proper time.

You only have to forgive others, not trust them. And if you don’t want to, you don’t have to put yourself in a position where you will be hurt again.

Forgiving others, as many times as needed, will help you live a life of peace and joy and contentment, and remove a great stumbling block to eternal life. Make it a lifelong habit.

Copyright (c) 2007-2026, Rosario (Ross) D'Souza. All Rights Reserved
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