Peter came up to the Lord and asked, “How many times should I forgive someone who does something wrong to me? Is seven times enough?” Jesus answered: Not just seven times, but seventy-seven times!
Matthew 18:21-22 CEV
When people do us wrong, we instantly want to get revenge and make them pay for what they’ve done. Sometimes we wish ill-will on them and make them feel guilty for the offense. This is one of the biggest mistakes we can do in our Christian walk because what makes us any different if we’re going to act just like them? Jesus says to love your enemies and to pray for them (see Matthew 5:44). This is what wins souls and melts the coldest of hearts. Two wrongs don’t make a right, and if you’re the Christian in the situation, you have to do what’s right first because you know better.
No one is perfect and the Bible says that if anyone says they do not sin, they are a liar (see 1 John 1:8). We sin every day, multiple times a day, whether we are aware of it or not. It is as simple as thinking and doing the wrong thing, not doing something we’re supposed to be doing, etcetera. God’s mercy for us is new every morning (see Lamentations 3:23) and we partake of it consistently. If God held a grudge against us for everything that we did that wasn’t in line with His Word, we would be in terrible trouble without any sense of hope because forgiveness comes only from Him. 1 John 1:9 says that if we confess our sins God forgives us and cleanses us from it—He remembers it no more. If God is able to forgive us daily, why can’t we forgive other people? It doesn’t matter the offense. Sin is sin and knows no degree, and God still forgives. We’re human and make mistakes, but a lot of the time when people hurt us, it may not be intentional. Either way, Jesus says, however many times it takes to forgive someone, do it because He lends us the same forgiveness on a daily basis. How dare we think we’re better than God and live in unforgiveness?
The worst thing that you can do is hold a grudge and not forgive someone. There’s a saying that holding onto unforgiveness is like drinking poison, hoping it kills the other person. Unforgiveness only hurts you, not your offender; and most importantly, it builds a wall of separation between you and God. Don’t have God turn away His forgiveness from you because you want to hold on to the past. So how many times do you have to forgive—however many times that it takes. Think about it like this…as many times as God forgives you, lend that same mercy and graciousness to someone else. You’ll be forgiving people for the rest of your life. If you believe in the cross, then forgive. Do your part and watch God do His by making your enemies your footstool.
Meditation Scripture (s):
Put up with each other, and forgive anyone who does you wrong, just as Christ has forgiven you. (Col 3:13 CEV)
“If you forgive others the wrongs they have done to you, your Father in heaven will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others, then your Father will not forgive the wrongs you have done. (Matt. 6:14-15 GNT)