Seventy x Seven
We are sinful and selfish by nature. Our intentions and desires are intrinsically wrong. We fail. We betray. We abandon our call. And history has proven time and time again that we often turn our back on our Creator for some sort of temporal, meaningless gain. And yet even with all of those shameful flaws, God somehow still sees us with eyes of gracious love. Such deep love in fact that not even His own life was too great a sacrifice for Him just to set us free and give us the chance to walk into salvation.
We owe Jesus a lot. Like, our whole lives and eternal souls. But you see, Jesus didn’t give with the requirement that we repay Him. He just gave. Period. The end. He knew that the price for sin was a debt that we could never match. He even knew how little we would appreciate Him at times, and how much we would mess up. But He gave anyway because His compassion outweighed His disappointment. Through His blood, our sins and debts are totally forgiven.
So what happens when someone we’ve invested into decides to betray our trust? What about when we give to someone else but they never reciprocate? How much are we really required to forgive?
Peter wondered the same thing. You see, the rabbis taught that people should forgive those who offend them. But it was only required three times before the offender could be deemed unforgivable. Peter, in an effort to be especially generous, asked Jesus if seven times was enough to forgive someone. But Jesus replied with “Seventy times seven.” No, He did not mean that we should keep a detailed record of every wrongdoing of our offender until they reach their 491st offense. Rather, He was saying we shouldn’t even keep track of how often someone sins against us - we should simply always give mercy to someone with a truly repentant heart, no matter how many times they ask for it. We have been forgiven of much. We have been showered with grace abundantly. How can we withhold from others what God has so freely given us?
Forgiveness does not come easily. And after being wronged several times, we can start to feel like we have a right to deny grace to others. But don’t be like the unmerciful servant who either forgot about or ignored the pardon of his master. Don’t accuse when you have been excused. The next time you find yourself wondering whether or not someone is worthy of your forgiveness, remember how Jesus forgives you of your sins daily. Remember how He turns to you even when you turn away from Him. And how no matter how many times you fall, He picks you up and helps you carry on.
Pray: “Lord, I will never understand Your unending grace and mercy that You give to me each morning. I’m so thankful that You have chosen to love and bless me through my
failures. And I pray that I could mirror that same kind of love and express forgiveness others, no matter how many times they may hurt me.”