In a lifetime, an individual will meet hundreds of people. Some of them you see for only a moment and others you see for longer periods of time. When people get older, they look back at their life and think about the people they have encountered. Someone will mention a name and they will say something like “I remember that person; he was the one who …”
What will you put in the blank? When people have hurt you, you will probably remember them for the hurt that they caused. You may think of every negative thing that you can think about that person.
On the other hand, when a person has helped you achieve something, you will remember that person by the good they did to you. You will think about all the positive things that the person did.
How do you want people to remember you? Do you want them to remember you as a judgmental person who criticized everything and everyone you come in contact with, or do you want them to remember you as forgiving individual, who was always trying to help someone?
Remember Peter, the apostle of Jesus Christ? Do you remember him as the person who betrayed Jesus? Or perhaps you remember him as the person who Jesus called Satan? Or perhaps you remember him as the disciple who sank into the water because he took his eyes of Jesus? We may criticize Peter for taking his eyes off Jesus and sinking into the water or we can praise him for having the courage to go to Jesus even when it was humanly impossible.
Even though Peter made several mistakes in his life, He learned from his mistakes. He later wrote two Epistles that are recorded in our Bible today: 1 Peter and 2 Peter. Because Peter seemed to make a lot of mistakes, he has some excellent advice for Christians. In 1 Peter 2:11-12 Peter wrote these words:
Dear friends, I urge you, as foreigners and exiles, to abstain from sinful desires, which wage war against your soul. Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us. 1 Peter 2:11-12(NIV)
Peter is telling us that everything we do should glorify God. Even when people falsely accuse us, we should continue to live Godly lives rather than seeking vengeance because of their false accusations.
Often the reason we remember the negative things that people have done to us, is because we have never forgiven them for the wrong they did to us. We tend to hang onto all the wrongs that have been done to us, rather than forgive them.
The Apostle Luke, in chapter 6 record Jesus telling this to the followers of Jesus:
“Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” Luke 6:37-38(NIV)
Jesus is telling his followers, not to judge or condemn people but rather forgive them.
Forgiveness is one of the most difficult things for people to do. Forgiveness requires the action of the Holy Spirit in our lives. God is the only one that can forgive, but he will not force us to forgive. We must surrender it to God and let him seek vengeance.
Paul in his letter to the Colossians says:
Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. Colossians 3:12-14(NIV)
When we forgive someone as Christ did, we will remember the offence no more. We surrender our right to ever bring up this offense again. Regardless of the severity of the offence against us, we are still instructed to forgive.
How are people going to remember you? Are you going to remind them of Christ and His forgiveness or are we going to remind them of a judge who never forgive?
NOTE: All scripture in the blog were downloaded from: www.biblegateway.com