Scripture Reading – Matthew 18:21-22 (NRSVUE)
‘Then Peter came and said to him, “Lord, if my brother or sister sins against me, how often should I forgive? As many as seven times?” Jesus said to him, “Not seven times, but, I tell you, seventy-seven times.’
Introductory Remarks: Forgiveness is a topic that is often mis-understood as ‘letting a perpetrator off the hook’, or ‘a license to be continually abused by an abuser’, or to ‘remain in toxic situations or circumstances’ that harm rather than heal.
True forgiveness is more about you than your situation. Forgiveness offers you an opportunity to release pent up toxic energy manifesting as anger, hatred, guilt, fear, condemnation, bondage, judgment, and the like, in exchange for compassion, understanding, love, freedom, and trust. Forgiveness is a CHOICE you make, and you can choose forgiveness as often as you desire, triggering blessings too numerous to count.
Major Points of the Lesson:
- ‘Forgiveness is more than an action; it is an attitude. It requires a willingness to acknowledge the presence of God [Good] in every person and situation – even when it is not readily apparent.’ Dr. Mary Tumpkin’s, Before You Pray Forgive
- ‘When [you] hold on to past hurts and perceived offenses, [you] create a blockage in consciousness that keeps [your] good from flowing… [You, therefore] are not open to receive what God is offering [you].’ Dr. Mary Tumpkin
- ‘Jesus taught that we have the power to rid ourselves of the harmful effects of sin [missing the mark of perfection] by practicing forgiveness’ not 7 times but 70 x 7 times.
Quotes to Ponder:
‘The act of release frees you from tightness, tension or grasping…[It] helps you to become an open, receptive channel through which…[God] can flow to you to cleanse your life of worn-out relationships and conditions and make way for your new, expanded good.’
Dr. Mary Tumpkin’s, Before You Pray Forgive, quoting Catherine Ponder’s, Open Your Mind to Receive.