We have no choice but to forgive those that have wronged us. It does not matter if they deserve it or not. As we struggle with the idea of forgiving others, let’s be aware that the devil, our enemy, works against us through other humans. All humans are potential agents of evil. They include friends, families and even total strangers.
Read Psalm 37 prayerfully. 7 Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him; do not fret when people succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes. 8 Refrain from anger and turn from wrath; do not fret—it leads only to evil. 9 For those who are evil will be destroyed, but those who hope in the Lord will inherit the land
To fret is same as being anxious. Please don’t be anxious or angry when justice seem to delay. The scripture promises in verse 9 that the evil will be destroyed, so don’t sin by being anxious. Destruction of the evil around you is not necessarily their death otherwise most humans will be dead by now. It’s the power or position of evil over you that will be destroyed. They will be humbled. They will be brought low. You will be lifted above their operating level.
How does the enemy work?
The devil uses evil spirits to hurt us. The evil spirits enter us or other humans by enticements through moments of weaknesses. Let’s imagine a house with an open door. Our hearts are like a house with us standing at the doorway. If we open the door and are destructed, anything evil can enter. Evil normally comes in hidden in an object of enticement .
What are the objects of enticement?
These are lack, anger, jealousy, envy, power, money, wealth, unbelief, worldliness and other lusts of the flesh. These objects of enticements take over the control of our flesh and create moments of weaknesses
1 James 4:4 You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world means enmity against God? Therefore, anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God
1 John 2:16 For everything in the world–the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life–comes not from the Father but from the world
How evil comes in through a moment of weakness.
Murder seemed like a good option to Cain at his moment of weakness coming in as anger and jealousy.
Gen 4: 6 Then the Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? 7 If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it.” 8 Now Cain said to his brother Abel, “Let’s go out to the field.” While they were in the field, Cain attacked his brother Abel and killed him
King Soul was full of Jelousy. The evil spirit was using this weakness to drive him to kill David
1 Sam 18 10 The next day an evil a spirit from God came forcefully on Saul. He was prophesying in his house, while David was playing the lyre, as he usually did. Saul had a spear in his hand 11 and he hurled it, saying to himself, “I’ll pin David to the wall.” But David eluded him twice
Judas Iscariot love of Money as portrayed by his protest when an expensive perfume was used to anoint Jesus’ feet. This is the very thing that the devil used to get him betray Jesus
John 12: 5“Why wasn’t this perfume sold for three hundred denarii and the money given to the poor?” 6 Judas did not say this because he cared about the poor, but because he was a thief. As keeper of the money bag,he used to take from what was put into it.
Luke 22 1 Now the Festival of Unleavened Bread, called the Passover, was approaching, 2 and the chief priests and the teachers of the law were looking for some way to get rid of Jesus, for they were afraid of the people. 3 Then Satan entered Judas, called Iscariot, one of the Twelve. 4 And Judas went to the chief priests and the officers of the temple guard and discussed with them how he might betray Jesus. 5 They were delighted and agreed to give him money. 6 He consented, and watched for an opportunity to hand Jesus over to them when no crowd was present 7 Then came the day of Unleavened Bread on which the Passover lamb had to be sacrificed. 8 Jesus sent Peter and John, saying, “Go and make preparations for us to eat the Passover
24 A dispute also arose among them as to which of them was considered to be greatest.
31“Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift all of you as wheat. 32 But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.” 33 But he replied, “Lord, I am ready to go with you to prison and to death.”
56 Then a servant girl, seeing him as he sat in the light and looking closely at him, said, “This man also was with him.” 57 But he denied it, saying, “Woman, I do not know him.” 58 And a little later someone else saw him and said, “You also are one of them.” But Peter said, “Man, I am not.” 59 And after an interval of about an hour still another insisted, saying, “Certainly this man also was with him, for he too is a Galilean.” 60 But Peter said, “Man, I do not know what you are talking about.” And immediately, while he was still speaking, the rooster crowed
Simon Peter had a sense of self confidence that may have opened a door to pride when they were arguing about who among them was the greatest. God hates pride and the presence of God may have left him. When the presence of God leaves us, it doesn’t matter how brave we may have been, we run in fear from the smallest of demonic challenges.
The once confident Peter was dripping fear. I can see him trying to disguise his face and maybe covering his head.
This is the same moment that the crowd was also being prepared for demonization. The religious leaders of the day were working up the crowd through incitement. Many people who had welcomed Jesus before due to what He did, the miracles of healing and provision, were now reacting to the appeal of a mob psychology. This is another phrase that means demonisation.
Luke 23 13 Pilate called together the chief priests, the rulers and the people, 14 and said to them, “You brought me this man as one who was inciting the people to rebellion. I have examined him in your presence and have found no basis for your charges against him. 15 Neither has Herod, for he sent him back to us; as you can see, he has done nothing to deserve death. 16 Therefore, I will punish him and then release him.”
18 But the whole crowd shouted, “Away with this man! Release Barabbas to us!” 19 (Barabbas had been thrown into prison for an insurrection in the city, and for murder.)
20 Wanting to release Jesus, Pilate appealed to them again. 21 But they kept shouting, “Crucify him! Crucify him!”22 For the third time he spoke to them: “Why? What crime has this man committed? I have found in him no grounds for the death penalty. Therefore I will have him punished and then release him.” 23 But with loud shouts they insistently demanded that he be crucified, and their shouts prevailed. 24 So Pilate decided to grant their demand. 25 He released the man who had been thrown into prison for insurrection and murder, the one they asked for, and surrendered Jesus to their will.
The solders that crucified Jesus did it through ignorance and fear of the authority of men.
33 When they came to the place called the Skull, they crucified him there, along with the criminals—one on his right, the other on his left. 34 Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” And they divided up his clothes by casting lots
It’s clear from the example above that a fellow human is not your real enemy. People who hurt you don’t really know that they are being used by evil forces. If you know that, it will be easier to forgive those who wrong you
How many times should one forgive another person?
Peter suggested 7 but Jesus appended another digit and said 77 which really implied endless number of times.
Mathew 18 21 Then Peter came up and asked him, “Lord, how many times may my brother sin against me and I have to forgive him? Seven times?”22 Jesus told him, “I tell you, not just seven times, but 77 times!
Why should we forgive?
We need to forgive for two reasons, our own benefit, and the benefit of the other person. When we forgive, we give room for a possible deliverance of the other person from sin.
Look at it this way, if someone has courage to come to you three or more times for forgiveness, it means they are not in control but are slaves to the situation and are serving one or more evil spirits in them. When you forgive them they have a chance of being remorseful and could end up repenting. When they repent, evil spirits give them up presenting them with a chance of a genuine deliverance.
We know that when people sin continuously and are unable to stop, then there is something else living in them. This something is sin (evil spirits). Paul described it in the following scriptures.
Romans 7 15 I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. 16 And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. 17 As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. 18 For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature.c For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. 19 For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. 20 Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.
The Parable of Forgiveness – Why we should always forgive
We forgive for several reasons as covered by the parable told by Jesus below.
I prefer calling it the parable of forgiveness for that is what it is and not the parable of the unmerciful servant. Some of these headings added by bible commentators don’t really help but distorts the real meaning behind the scriptures.
Mathew 18 23 “Therefore, the kingdom of heaven is like a king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants. 24 As he began the settlement, a man who owed him ten thousand bags of gold was brought to him.25 Since he was not able to pay, the master ordered that he and his wife and his children and all that he had be sold to repay the debt. 26 “At this the servant fell on his knees before him.‘Be patient with me,’ he begged, ‘and I will pay back everything.’ 27 The servant’s master took pity on him, cancelled the debt and let him go. 28 “But when that servant went out, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred silver coins. He grabbed him and began to choke him. ‘Pay back what you owe me!’ he demanded. 29 “His fellow servant fell to his knees and begged him, ‘Be patient with me, and I will pay it back.’ 30 “But he refused. Instead, he went off and had the man thrown into prison until he could pay the debt.31 When the other servants saw what had happened, they were outraged and went and told their master everything that had happened. 32 “Then the master called the servant in. ‘You wicked servant,’ he said, ‘I cancelled all that debt of yours because you begged me to. 33 Shouldn’t you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you?’ 34 In anger his master handed him over to the jailers to be tortured, until he should pay back all he owed.
35 “This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother or sister from your heart.”
Summary from the parable of forgiveness
1. We must do it the kingdom of God’s way (Mathew 18 23-)
2. Forgive because you have been forgiveness by God
3. If you don’t forgive you will not be forgiveness by God
4. If you don’t forgive you will be thrown to the spiritual jailers. Jailers in this scriptures are demons (Mathew 18 23-). Many people are in the hands of demons with all types of problems because they failed to forgive others.
5. You must forgive from your heart not lips. This is a requirement. If you are not ready to forgive, take your time and seek God until your heart is soft enough to forgive those who have wronged you fairly or unfairly.
Luke 11 2 He said to them, “When you pray, say:“ ‘Father, hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come. 3 Give us each day our daily bread. 4 Forgive us our sins,
for we also forgive everyone who sins against us. And lead us not into temptation.’ “