LENT DAY 8
70x7 By Pastor Brock Adams
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?” Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times. (Matthew 18:21-22)
When I was in middle school there was someone close to me who absolutely betrayed me. The betrayal was so deep that my relationship with that person would never be the same again. I knew that because Jesus had forgiven my sins, He commands us to forgive others when they wrong us. I forgave that person. I found as the years went on I still had anger and bitterness towards them even though I forgave them years earlier. It was in high school that I realized a principle when it comes to forgiveness. Sometimes forgiveness is a one-time event and sometimes forgiveness is an on-going, lifelong choice. I realized that I would have to forgive that person over and over again as the hurt resurfaced in my life. And that was okay.
One of Jesus best friends named Peter asked Jesus how many times should we offer forgiveness. Jesus stuns Peter with his answer of 70 times 7. In other words, Jesus is saying that we should always forgive and there is no limit to the amount of forgiveness we should offer people in our lives.
Are there people in your life who you have forgiven but you still feel angry and bitter towards? Don’t beat yourself up. Forgive them again. There may be moments, memories, reminders that bring up all the pain that the person caused you. When that happens, choose to forgive them again. Take the advice of Jesus and offer forgiveness when needed and you will find that over time your bitterness and anger will eventually go away.