Forgiveness Adds Up
‘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 NKJV
Peter was always a bit of a character in scripture. He was a bit of a hot head who could easily get his emotions turned up and react passionately. He wanted to know how many times we should forgive others. He asked for a number, likely wanting to take his count and write somebody off. However; Jesus responded by explaining a new type of math that only He could bring.
Jesus came and forgave every sin we have ever committed or will ever commit. He forgives us time and time again, but we have such a difficult time doing the same for others. We keep a list of every hurt caused by someone. Then, when the opportunity arrives, we throw it back at them.
‘Then his master, after he had called him, said to him, “You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt because you begged me. Should you not also have had compassion on your fellow servant, just as I had pity on you?”’ (Matthew 18:32-33 NKJV) The master had forgiven his servant of a large debt, but then the servant went out and mistreated one of his fellows for a small debt. Jesus gave this parable after talking to Peter about forgiveness. It should grip our hearts to know that God has forgiven us of so much, and yet we often hold on to petty offenses from those we call friends.
Our goal as Christians is to be like Christ. He suffered so much, and he did it with the purpose of forgiving all people; including those that were hurting Him. We may never forget the pain caused by others, but we can forgive them and move on. The grudge we hold onto causes us more pain than the one that hurt us. Let go, and let God fill that place with His peace and love.