You’re not perfect and you need forgiveness too. You’ll be making mistakes too. You haven’t been accused of living the perfect life have you? Then, you’re also going to need those around you to cut you some slack. That’s more likely to happen if you are forgiving of them.
We hear a lot about being a country of second chances.
Forget second chances. We all mess up so much that we’re continually needing three, four, five, six, seven chances. That’s why in the Bible when they asked Jesus how many times he should forgive their neighbor, they asked 7 times and He said no, forgive them 70 times 7! It seems like they needed more than second chances back then, too.
Then Peter came and said to Him, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him? Up to seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven. (Matthew 18:21-22)
So if you want to have great relationships for those around, you ease up.
Give them some room to fail and when they do, forgive. Don’t expect them to do the impossible. That doesn’t mean that if somebody does something terrible there shouldn’t be consequences. Even some times, severe consequences.
However, that doesn’t mean you need to hold it against them.
You’ll find this easier to do if you are someone who forgives yourself. You’ll find the most rigid people are those who are unforgiving of themselves.
“Forgiveness is the key to action and freedom.” —Hannah Arendt
That’s not a good way to go through life.
You’ll always be dissatisfied, always expecting yourself to live up to a standard you have no hope of achieving.
It’s much easier to forgive yourself when you realize that God in heaven has already provided a plan of forgiveness for you. It’s available through his Son, Jesus Christ. If He will forgive, why wouldn’t you forgive yourself?
- To the Lord our God belong compassion and forgiveness, for we have rebelled against Him;
- and that repentance for forgiveness of sins would be proclaimed in His name to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem.
- Of Him all the prophets bear witness that through His name everyone who believes in Him receives forgiveness of sins.”
- to open their eyes so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the dominion of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who have been sanctified by faith in Me.’
- In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace
It doesn’t do you any good until you repent, ask for and accept that forgiveness, but He still has forgiven you.
The sooner you realize that it might help you ease up a little bit on unrealistic expectations for yourself, your family, your kids, your coworkers, and your friends.