““Master, how many times do I forgive a brother or sister who hurts me? Seven?” Jesus replied, “Seven! Hardly. Try seventy times seven.”
Mathew 18:21-22 The Message
Repeat offenders use your welcome mat way too many times to wipe off their dirty boots! We all have people in our lives that seem to use a revolving door to our welcome mat and leave us feeling trampled on. Peter asks Jesus for His wisdom on how to deal with these people and it’s not what our human hearts want to hear.
Jesus is encouraging unlimited forgiveness.
Jesus’ teaching was counter-culture to people in His day and nothing has changed in our modern culture thinking. People don’t like to forgive. People want others to forgive them for what they do, but it’s rare to find someone who wants to extend forgiveness when they’re offended.
Natural instinct is to protect ourselves and put up a fence, blocking the person from ever causing us pain again.
Right after Jesus teaches the principle of forgiveness, he explains further with a story called The Parable of the Unmerciful Servant. Jesus condemns the man in the story that doesn’t release forgiveness to his debtor when the debtor pleaded for it.
Jesus reminds us through the parable that we are all debtors to God. Some of us may have larger debts than others, but we all owe a debt we cannot pay.
If Jesus so willingly releases forgiveness to us each time we truly repent, we need to extend that same forgiveness to others when they ask for our forgiveness.
Open your heart today and release anyone that you may be holding unforgiveness towards. You’ll be setting both of you free!
Father… Thank-you for forgiving me when I offend You. I should really be out of chances, but Your grace keeps taking me back. Soften my heart. Melt it so that I can forgive others like you forgive me. In Jesus Name…Amen
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