Forgiveness is Expected
By Kristen Terrette
“Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, ‘Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?’ Jesus answered, ‘I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.’” Matthew 18:21-22
Forgiveness is powerful, and something I didn’t understand until I lost my best friend in a car accident. We were college roommates, and she put me in a major financial bind when she left before our lease ended. She wasn’t in a good place, and though I was angry, I kept reaching out to her, but she wouldn’t accept my calls. Since this was before text messaging, I wrote a letter telling her I was upset, but that I forgave her and loved her very much.
Not long after, she called and we reconciled. Later, she was a bridesmaid in my wedding and celebrated the birth of my daughter with me.
But when my daughter was four months old, a drunk driver killed my best friend. I mourned the loss for a long time. But I was comforted knowing that, because I offered forgiveness, which she accepted, our friendship was redeemed before she went to be with Jesus. I’d been able to spend a few more years with her and formed precious memories I might not have otherwise.
Jesus makes it clear that forgiveness is always the expected response. After telling a parable of an unmerciful servant, He showed His disciples forgiveness is a command, not a choice. I would’ve been disobedient had I not offered forgiveness to my friend as Jesus had done for me. He gave His very life to reconcile me to Him, so I had to open the way for reconciliation with her.
Have you withheld forgiveness from someone and felt the weight of this disobedience? Always choose forgiveness then walk in the freedom this provides.
Kristen Terretteholds a Master's degree in Theological Studies and served as a Children's Ministry Director for five years. She cherishes her Southern roots and currently lives 45 minutes outside of Atlanta, GA. She’s following her dream by writing Christian fiction during the day and being a wife and mom come early afternoon when the family starts to arrive home. She’s serves on the Wholly Loved Ministriesteam, serves at her local church on the women's leadership team, and writes for Crosswalk.com. To see her blog and novels, check out her website at www.kristenterrette.com.
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Originally published Friday, 10 May 2019.