Matthew 18:21-22 NKJV
Then Peter came to Him and said, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.
I am sure Peter thought that forgiving his brother up to 7 times was pretty impressive. Apparently the Rabbis required those who followed the law to forgive someone of the same offence up to three times. After the third time you strike out basically you have used up all your chances of being forgiven. I am sure Peter thought up to seven times would be impressive.
Jesus replies by saying seventy times seven which may basically mean do not keep count just forgive.
Just like Peter, many of us approach forgiveness with myths and misconceptions. Some of us will not forgive until the offender asks for forgiveness meaning we hold on to bitterness untill such a time. Some of us struggle to forgive because we believe that if we forgive then the offence that was committed against us was justified. Others may struggle go forgive because to them it means that they are weak.
Jesus commands us to forgive others of their trespasses otherwise if we do not, our heavenly father will not forgive us. It matters not what the offence committed was or it’s magnitude, we are commanded to forgive.
I will never forget interacting with a woman who had be sexually abused for year’s by her uncle when she was under the care of her grand mother who knew was was happening but turned blind eye to the issue. The lady forgave both of them. Her story brought a new light depth and meaning to forgiveness for me.
What myths have you believed or heard about forgiveness?
Think of the many mistakes you have made, sometimes repeating the same sin over and over again yet God in his mercy forgives you. How does that make you feel?
It takes a person of courage and strength to forgive….. What are your thoughts about that statement?