Elect Lady's Corner

Biblical Wisdom In Plain English

How Long Should I Forgive?

Most of us are familiar with the story of Jonah preaching to Nineveh. The prophet Jonah had a problem obeying God to preach to these barbaric people, because he felt they were not deserving of being rescued. Their wickedness was so notorious it had reached the throne of God in grievance. History says they sinned with a “high hand!” Nineveh was a “great city, and yet a heathen city, without the knowledge and worship of the true God.”

But after, being in the belly of a whale for 3 days and 3 nights, Jonah’s heart is changed, and he is willing and ready to obey God. Jonah then goes to Nineveh and preaches the Word of God and warns the Ninevites of their wickedness, and the wrath of God that is to come upon them. However, the people of Nineveh believed God, and proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth, from the greatest of them to the least of them. Jonah 3:10 says: “And God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God repented of the evil, that He said that He would do unto them; and He did it not.”

But, as we look in the book of Nahum, we find Nineveh did not stay repented. They went back to their old ways. Nahum, the prophet then proclaims the downfall of this same city. They had forgotten the revival they experienced from God; and returned to their habits of violence, idolatry, and arrogance. Babylon later comes and destroys the city so that no trace of it remains. The word of the Lord is then fulfilled in painful destruction because they did not stay repented.

Has God’s grace and lovingkindness been with you time and time again? Have you found yourself in sorrow and repentance only to find out when God forgave and delivered you, you returned to your old ways? You don’t want the word of God to find you in Proverbs 26:11: “As a dog returneth to his vomit, So a fool returneth to his folly.”

Webster defines repent as: “to feel or express sincere regret or remorse about one’s wrongdoing or sin, deep regret.” But, when you lose these feelings or heart, you will return to your old ways. You don’t want to stand before the Lord and the question is asked “Ye did run well; who did hinder you that ye should not obey the truth?” (Galatians 5:7) So, while you have the opportunity: Stay repented, and don’t go back to your old ways!