Then Peter came to him and asked, “Lord, how often should I forgive someone who sins against me? Seven times?” “No, not seven times,” Jesus replied, “but seventy times seven!” Matthew 18:21-22
Forgiveness is hard. I mean, we can forgive some things. “Sure, Lord, I can forgive him or her. There are a lot of things that have happened that I know he didn’t mean to happen. I know he’s sorry.
But what about the big things? The things she did that really cut deep and still hurt? The things she said about me to others right in front of me? The times I was made to feel small and worthless? You obviously weren’t there to hear them, otherwise You would understand that I can’t forgive.
And then there are all those hurtful things, repeated over and over again by the same person. Are says he’s trying to do better, but it doesn’t feel like it. I don’t see any change. Do I still need to forgive him, even then?”
I know it’s hard sometimes, especially in a marriage. Some of you may have experienced that as well.
Peter thought he was being overly generous when he proposed seven acts of forgiveness per person to Jesus; after all, the rabbis taught that forgiving threee time fulfilled the requirements of the law. But Christ said no, not seven—seventy times seven. Instead of being patted on the back, Peter learned that a follower of Chris needs to be willing to forgive without keeping track of the number of times it’s done. That describes God’s forgiving mercy to us–limitless and free, and beyond anything we deserve.
Whom do you need t forgive today? If you’re anything like me, you probably have a list of people. What do you need to do to forgive them? How will you go about doing it? What if the people who wronged you don’t say they’re sorry?
Maybe the real question you need to ask yourself is who is really set are when you forgive someone else? Maybe the answer is the truth that Christ wants to get across in the first place.