Then Peter came up and said to him, “Lord, how often will my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you seven times, but seventy-seven times.
(Matthew 18:21-22 ESV)
The song “Forgiveness” by Matthew West is being played often on the radio station. Today, the song stuck in my head so I reflected on it a little more. Especially these words of the song have hit me right between my eyes:
“Forgiveness..it flies in the face of all your pride, it moves away the mad inside…”
Have I always forgiven as I should have? Or was pride in the way of forgiving someone who has hurt me with words or actions? Why is it so hard to say to someone “I forgive you”.
More often than not I have to move past my pride and truly forgive from the bottom of my heart and move one.
Peter asked Jesus how often we should forgive our brother when he sins against us. Jesus did not put a true number on forgiveness. What does seventy-seven times truly mean? I believe that we should be as forgiving as our Heavenly Father is, without putting a number on forgiveness.
Jesus goes further in Matthew 18:33-35:
“And should not you have had mercy on your fellow servant, as I had mercy on you?’ And in anger his master delivered him to the jailers, until he should pay all his debt. So also my heavenly Father will do to every one of you, if you do not forgive your brother from your heart.”
In some cases it may take us some time to truly forgive someone from the heart, but I do know that it is necessary. If we do not forgive someone we only hurt ourselves. I know that if I hold a grudge against someone, I get physically sick. My stomach hurts, I get headaches. But if I speak the words “I forgive you”, I start to feel better, mentally and physically.
My sweet sisters, it may not come easy to us to say “I forgive you”, but let us all try to be more forgiving toward our sisters. We are serving a merciful God who has shown us the true meaning of forgiveness by sending His Son to die for our sins.
Lord of Heaven and Earth. Thank You for Your grace and mercy. Lord, help me to be as forgiving as You have been toward me. I want to show Your love to others, so I need to be merciful. In the precious name of Jesus. Amen.
- From the garden
- The Ultimate Goal…