Matthew 18: 21 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?”
22 Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.
One time I was robbed. I remember the guy’s face as if it were yesterday. He stole fifty cents, a calculator and my bus card! This guy should have been thrown in jail for the rest of his life!
- It is hard to forgive when I keep count.
- It is hard to forgive when I quantify the offense with my emotions.
- It is hard to forgive when I feel threatened or experience extreme loss or I am hurt.
Peter threw out the most extreme number he could think of, “seven.” I thought about it, I would have to get robbed by this guy six more times! JESUS says, “No, Seventy-seven times” meaning I would have to get robbed by this guy seventy-six more times before I stopped forgiving him. I could see myself saying “Is this number forty two or forty three?” as I kept track.
- JESUS wants me to have the mindset of forgiveness even when I do not forget.
- JESUS wants me to release problems by forgiving versus holding onto negative thoughts.
- JESUS wants me to have abundant life and forgiveness is part of it.
Keeping track of the number is the main problem. GOD desires that I carry a mindset of forgiveness wherever I go. When “that” person cuts me off in traffic, my mindset says it is impossible for them to do this seventy-six more times before I reach my destination. Instead, GOD wants me to reset the clock to zero and say, “This was not an offense to me, but to GOD.”
No I am not saying I am GOD. I am saying the offender will have to deal with their offenses “to” GOD just like I will have to do one day. The act of forgiveness means I pray for the both of us in the offensive situation.
- Have you been sinned against?
- How many times did the person offend you?
- Can you stop replaying their offense in your mind and start healing by forgiving them?