says, “Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times? Jesus said to him, I say not to you, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven” (Matthew 18:21–22).
At the beginning, I didn’t think it was difficult to meet the’ requirement that our forgiveness toward others should be seventy times seven. I thought: No matter how others treat me, if I don’t care about it, don’t make a fuss with them, but forgive them with a heart of patience and tolerance, can’t I meet the Lord’s requirement? However, in real life, I just realized that it’s not easy to practice the Lord’s requirement. Forgiving others is really not easy. Especially when others said or did something that embarrassed me and impinged on my face and interests, I would hate them in spite of myself, and not want to acknowledge them, much less forgive them seventy times seven. When I got along with my colleagues in the company, I always brooded over these things and couldn’t forgive them, such as one word, a trifle or a behavior that didn’t conform with my will and offended me. For this, I was always annoyed that I couldn’t put the Lord’s words into practice nor meet the Lord’s requirement.
One day, I poured my troubles to a sister online. Subsequently, she sent me a passage of God’s words: “If you believe in the dominion of God, then you must believe that the things that happen every day, be they good or bad, don’t happen accidentally. It is not that someone doesn’t get on with you or opposes you on purpose; it is actually all arranged and orchestrated by God. What does God orchestrate these things for? It is not to reveal your shortcomings for everyone to see or to expose you; exposing you is not the final aim. The aim is to perfect you and save you. How does God perfect you and save you? Firstly, He makes you aware of your own corrupt disposition, your own nature and essence, your own shortcomings and what you lack. Only by knowing these things and understanding them in your heart can you cast them off.” Having read God’s words, I understood slightly: It turns out that all people, things, and matters I encounter, no matter whether they are in line with my will or not, or no matter how others around treat me, are all orchestrated and arranged by God. God permits them to come upon me. God’s will is to let me know my corrupt disposition and then have a change. These all embody God’s kind intentions. But I always didn’t understand God’s will. I just thought it was that someone found fault with me or opposed me, and then I would have some preconceived ideas toward him and even hate him. At the same time, I also lived in pain and couldn’t forgive others according to God’s requirement. Now I realize that when I encounter something that is not in line with my will, I should not first analyze it, looking to others for causes or dwelling on whether it’s right or wrong, but I should come before God, seeking what God’s will is and how I should do to conform with God’s will.
At the time, the sister fellowshiped with me: “In fact, the reason that we cannot practice the Lord’s teachings is mainly that we always fixate our eyes on the other party when encountering things, but not know ourselves or inspect ourselves. When we get along with brothers and sisters or our colleagues, we always see their shortcomings and problems, but not see our own problems in the slightest, which causes us to think we are better than them and that the other party is wrong. And we will also think it’s natural that we have preconceived ideas toward them. So we will always be obsessed with right and wrong, and even if we know that the Lord requires us to forgive others seventy times seven, yet we cannot put it into practice. As a result, if we don’t know our own corrupt disposition, and cannot see our own problems, we cannot practice the Lord’s requirement that our forgiveness toward others should be seventy times seven.
The Lord Jesus said, ‘Either how can you say to your brother, Brother, let me pull out the mote that is in your eye, when you yourself behold not the beam that is in your own eye? You hypocrite, cast out first the beam out of your own eye, and then shall you see clearly to pull out the mote that is in your brother’s eye’ (Luke 6:42). The Lord’s words are very clear: When we fixate our eyes on others’ problems and aren’t keen on them, it is exactly the time when we should know ourselves. Even though there is something wrong with others’ deeds or words, can we assure ourselves that we are without problems? We must first know ourselves, seek and resolve our own problems. Only thus can we put aside the preconceived ideas toward others and achieve getting along well with others. When we have this knowledge, even though others really hurt us in some aspects, we will not hate them but treat them in the way that we should forgive others as God has forgiven us. When we truly live out the Lord’s teachings, once others see us, they will think, ‘He has forgiven me in his heart. If I still hate him, I will be inhuman. I must forgive him. You see, he has forgiven me. Even if I treated him like that before, he still helps me. He is better than me.’ In this case, being moved by us, others will treat us correctly too. Is it right? As Christians, we should first require ourselves to enter into the truth, but not ask others to have a change or forgive us first.”
Having listened to God’s words and what the sister fellowshiped, I thought back on how I got along with my colleagues: When they always said that what I did was not right, I would think that they made things difficult for me, opposed me on purpose, and nitpicked and intentionally found fault with me, so I hated them from my heart. In fact, sometimes I indeed did wrong in many things. But because I felt embarrassed and I wanted to save my face, I didn’t want to admit my fault anyway but hated them in my heart. Just like what the Lord said, I was the person who doesn’t see my own problems but fixates my eyes on others. This made me see my arrogant nature. I couldn’t accept others’ advice and help, but always thought I was better than them; I also always looked to others for causes and fixated my eyes on them. I really didn’t know myself at all. So I was obsessed with right and wrong, and couldn’t treat them correctly.
In fact, some of what my colleagues said were really my problems and deficiencies. When they put forward them and helped me correct them in time, I could avoid deviation in work and improve myself in business. Looking at it from another perspective, it was good for me. Even though occasionally what they said was not accurate, it was normal. After all, people cannot be perfect. Although this time I was not wrong, I could regard what they suggested as a reminder lest I would make the same mistake again. Wasn’t it an impetus to me? I thought: I have many corrupt dispositions of Satan, such as, arrogance, conceitedness, hating others, treating others unjustly, and so on. Even then, God doesn’t treat me according to my corruption; instead, through the sister’s fellowshiping about God’s words, God lets me understand His will and helps me find the path to practice. God forgives me, and I also should forgive others. So I made up my mind: I’m unwilling to hate others anymore, but willing to practice according to God’s words.
After understanding God’s will, when I again encountered the people, things and matters that impinged on my face and interests, I didn’t look to others for causes, but came before God to seek God’s will and knew my corrupt disposition. In this way, when I found my problems, I would no longer fixate my eyes on others. Thank God for allowing me to have a path to practice the Lord’s requirement that our forgiveness toward others should be seventy times seven. All the glory be to God! Amen!
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