Matthew 18:21-22 – “Then Peter came and said to Him, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him? Up to seven times?” 22 Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.” NASB
Again, I suggest you read through verse 35 for the full impact of this discussion on Forgiveness or the lack thereof. I want to call your attention to something that will prevent you from receiving total freedom. That is a mindset that is rooted in fallacy or misconception.
I have heard people argue, “But I haven’t done anything wrong. This was done to me and it is unfair!” That may all be true but if we allow the ‘Self Pity Syndrome’ to take root we will find ourselves in the Prison of Unforgiveness and bound beyond our wildest imagination. If we allow ourselves to become The Victim, we are defeated. If that is or become the condition in any aspect of your life, it must be eradicated immediately. Your Freedom is hanging in the balance.
The crux of the matter is whether or not we receive what has been done to us and become owner of it or a victim. What I mean by that is, the devil delivers a package to our front door and we can either sign for it and take delivery or reject it. It truly is a choice. Jesus said, “Forgive them for they know not what they do.” I hope you can grasp the power of that statement and attitude. Jesus separated the sin from the sinner and the act from the person committing the act. He was saying, “I see that the enemy is attempting to use them to pull me down, but I reject his tactics.” In 2 Corinthians 10, we are informed that our warfare is not with flesh and blood. Therefore, it is not imperative or required that we take offense.
Let’s address ‘Self-Pity.’ That means they are doing this to me. I can blame everyone and everything for the problem or situation. I am simply a Victim. That mindset is vicious and destructive.
I’ve prayed with people who have allowed Self-Pity to take root but when I tried to console them, the condition worsened and made my task more difficult. We must never focus on “Fairness” for that will exacerbate the problem and make healing and deliverance far more difficult it not impossible. God never promised that life would be fair or easy. That tactic is one of the schemes of the devil to get us to focus on Fairness.
We can never have a ‘non-aggression pact’ with the devil. We are engaged in war with him. There is an amazing passage in 1 John 2:1 that is problematic and encouraging at the same time. It gives God’s Standard that we Not Sin. But it also provides the encouragement that If We Do there is hope. But the objective is still the objective that we Do Not Sin!
In 1 John 1:6 there is “if” and in 1:7, “but if.” Then in verse 8, 9, 10 we encounter the word “if” again. If, if, if, if… That makes it all conditional and places an emphasis on our cooperation with the divine and resistance to the devil.
In seeking to live as one who Forgives and lives in Forgiveness, we must also encounter another word and truth – Fellowship. The word in the Greek is (koinonia) which means ‘community, joining, and fitting together.’ Hebrews 10:25 instructs that we are to not forsake the assembling of ourselves together. To make that simply going to a church service is to do injustice to the truth of (koinonia). We go to church, but we are the church. For us to be ‘assembled’ we must become transparent and interdependent. The devil offers a lie that too many buy into and attempts to isolate and separate us. That is a device of the devil that must be overcome and exposed.
One of the major preventatives or hindrances to being ‘assembled’ and (koinonia) is our Fear of Exposure. Assembling is putting all the parts in the right place to fulfill their particular and specific function and purposes. It is through this process that the Body is built up in love and becomes a Spiritual House, a Body, a Community, an Army, and a Family.
We must learn to release the “hidden things” because of shame. We must become willing to ‘expose’ it, ‘repent’ of it, and ‘release’ it. When we do, we break the devil’s power to bind us and open the door for God to pour in His love and mercy. Freedom Come through Forgiveness!
We will pick this up more in the next devotional but until then, I pray that the LORD will help you become willing to be assembled and to discover freedom from the Fear of Exposure and Shame.
May the Lord bless you richly on this beautiful day in Him!