Wednesday, March 6, 2013


"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." Matthew 18:21,22

Forgive? 490 times? Lord, isn't that a bit unreasonable?

Forgiveness is not always easy. Sure, it is easier for some than others, and some offenses are, understandably, easier to forgive than others. But that doesn't nullify the necessity for us to forgive. Forgiveness doesn't minimize or excuse the wrongdoing, but it frees us from any sense of retaliation and releases the wrongdoer from our hearts and minds so we don't become angry and bitter. When we get to that point, it affects all those around us, not just the one who wronged us. In fact, very often the offender is not even aware there was ever a problem. When we fail or even refuse to forgive, we are the ones who suffer the most. Not only does it continually eat at us, but it jeopardizes our relationship with the Lord.

God has forgiven us much. Wrongs committed against us, regardless of how serious, are minimal in comparison to our sins against a holy God. As a forgiven people, we should be a forgiving people.

Oh, and that 490 times? We get to start all over again tomorrow.

Father, you have been so forgiving of us. We often offend your holiness and fall short of what you've called us to be and do, and yet you forgive us time and time again. Grant us forgiving hearts toward those who have sinned against us. Remind us, Lord, that we who have been freely forgiven at the expense of your Son, are to freely dispense the forgiveness we have received from you. Lord, though this is difficult, with you all things are possible. With gratefully forgiven hearts we pray. Amen.

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