Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Practice Makes Perfect

This is where we can see the true picture of a believer.
Do you have the ability, even the desire, to forgive another. 

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

In our humanness we want a limit. We want to be able to say:
"You've crossed the line"
"You've gone to far"
"I've had it up to here"
"That's the final straw"

What I love here in Matthew 18 as Jesus answers Peter question on a forgiveness limit is that Jesus gives him a limit.
What is it about this limit of seventy times seven?

When we were potty training our girls we had a sticker chart. The chart had set of boxes. There was a beginning and an end to the chart. The stickers had a limit. Every time our girls went to the potty they got a sticker. The goal of course was to be a pee-peeing in the potty pro by the time the sticker chart had reached its limit.
The point of this potty sticker chart was to get our girls in the habit of going to the bathroom. We didn't wait for the girls to "feel" like they had to go to the potty. We made them go whether they felt like it or not.
Do you know that neither of our girls reached that end limit. Both of them had made going to the potty a habit of their life before they ever reached the sticker limit.

This I believe is the point of Jesus's limit.

"...forgiveness is not a matter of quantity, but of quality. A man cannot forgive up to four hundred and ninety times without forgiveness becoming a part of the habit structure of his being. Forgiveness is not an occasional act; it is a permanent attitude." ~ MLK Jr

So precious one, who are you struggling to forgive?
How about making yourself a Forgiveness Chart for whoever that person is. Give your chart 490 boxes. Everytime you ask God to help you forgive this person, put a sticker in a box. Don't wait until you "feel" like forgiving them, just do it, say it, ask God to help you obey His Word, whether you feel like it or not.

Then also, make a Forgiveness Chart and put your name on it. Give your chart 490 boxes. Everytime you ask God to forgive you, put a sticker in a box. This will help you keep things in perspective.

Here's the thing... I will almost bet that you won't finish either one of those charts before forgiveness becomes a part of your character. Practice will make perfect. You will learn to forgive as you have been forgiven.

"And forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors...
For if you forgive others for their transgressions,
your heavenly Father will also forgive you.
But if you do not forgive others,
then your Father will not forgive your trangressions."
Matthew 6:12,14-15

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