The ninth session of "Seeking Him" small group Bible Study was held at New Canaan Worship Center in Richmond, Virginia on Thursday, Sept. 12, 2013 from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m.
The main topic of discussion was "Forgiveness: Setting Your Captives Free."
All participants shared their viewpoints about forgiveness. Everyone agreed forgiveness is hard to do, but once you get into the habit of forgiving, it is liberating for you and for the person you have been holding hostage.
While it is hard to forgive, the word of God says we should forgive others because God has forgiven us. In fact, He said, "As far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us" (Psalm 103:12). He used that analogy because east and west are so far apart that they never meet. If you start out driving east, you will never meet west unlike when you drive going from north to south.
The group talked about Jesus telling Peter that he should forgive seventy times seven. We do not multiple those two numbers to get 490 and say that's the limit. Rather, Jesus used those numbers because seven is the number of completion, and seventy is the ideal lifespan of a person. Therefore, we should be willing to forgive as long as we live.
Forgiveness is more than merely saying, "I forgive you." Once you forgive someone, you should invest positively into his life where it is possible or appropriate to rebuild the relationship. Where it is not possible, then you should pray for that person.
Often people say, "I can forgive, but I can't forget." True forgiveness is a choice that keeps you from focusing on the hurt or harm someone has done to you once you have forgiven him. When you "choose" to forgive, it becomes a supernatural occurrence and you do not have to do it in your own strength. However, making the choice is the first step you must take.
Remember, when you truly forgive someone, you release that person from prison. You cancel the debt you think he owes you. Then saying, "Forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors" takes on a different meaning for us.
Make it a practice to forgive no matter who was wrong in the situation. When you forgive you set both of you free. You are then in the position for God to allow His blessings to flow through you.