Sunday, February 12, 2023

Seventy Times Seven

 By: Paula Short

"Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, "Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?" Matthew 18:21— NIV

Your Dictionary identifies forgiveness as letting go of past grudges or lingering anger against a person or persons. A forgiving or being forgiven; pardon.

Peter's question might sound offbeat to us, but in Peter's time, a person was expected to forgive the person who hurt or wronged them three times. Thinking that he's being bighearted, Peter asks if forgiving someone seven times is the limit.

But Jesus replies that He wants His followers to forgive seventy times seven. That's about 490 times— per person, mind you. You see, Jesus' point wasn't how many times Peter wanted to forgive.

Jesus was saying something far more powerful, "Grace with limits really isn't grace."

 Much like the Your Dictionary definition, Matthew 18:21 gives us a whopping meaning of forgiveness. He was declaring that God wants us to forgive others— period.

Do you ever hold someone's sin against them? Maybe your friend said unkind things and asked your forgiveness. But the next time things get heated between you, you bring up those remarks like they just happened.

Perhaps a relative never paid you back the money they owe you. Now, every family get-together makes you tense because all you can think about is how much you really want them to pay you back. After all, you trusted them.

I used to have a hard time forgiving others when others hurt me. I'd fester and perseverate on it until I was bitter and anxious. I'd have a knot in my stomach, and my mood felt like a black crayon scribbling outside the lines.

I hear you, friend; letting go of past hurts isn't straightforward and downright brutal at times. But God longs for His children to forgive one another the same way He did—quickly and graciously.

It took me a long time to get that part right. I found that as my relationship with God broadened, it became easier for me to be quicker and more gracious in forgiving someone. 


God, I know grace with limits really isn't grace. Help me to let go of this unforgiveness in my heart and be gracious to those around me. In Jesus' name, Amen.


Does forgiving mean forgetting? 

Does forgiving mean the wound is completely healed? 

Is there anyone you need to forgive?

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank you for stopping by, we love hearing from you. Please feel free to contact us with any prayer requests or questions by commenting below or emailing us at the About Us page.