PLEASE READ THIS FIRST: Matthew 18:21-27
What do you sense the Lord saying to you in this passage?
“I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.” (Matthew 18:22)
Whether 70×7, or 77 times, its a whole lot of times.
In other words, stop counting, just forgive!
Jesus is not suggesting a mathematical formula for how long to show mercy.
He is magnifying Peter’s attempt at being extra-gracious… ‘you’ve only just started!’
Love is a debt that we never finish paying (Romans 13:8).
God is loving like this, showing a patience that is immense (1 Timothy 1:16).
It is ONLY because of this mercy that the kingdom of God is restored.
God does not give us time to repay it; God knows knows that we can’t.
Instead God has mercy (takes pity) on us and releases us without penalty.
This sounds good to me, I know the hugeness of my debt.
It gets harder when applied to others, especially terrible people.
For some reason, Jesus uses this story to compare my debt with others.
I need to be forgiven, just like everyone else – including terrible people.
Knowing how much I’ve been forgiven shows me how much others need it too.
Lord, I love your forgiveness for me but I resent it for more ‘terrible’ people. Help me to see that to you, my sins are terrible too, and yet you’ve forgiven me.
Beyond counting – God’s love and patience with me over the years has been more than I can count or care to track. I just know He has forgiven me although at times I rehash some regrets of things I did. It humbles me and reminds me that I need His grace every day. It also reminds me to seek the counsel of the spirit – to consult first before I act – need to do that better before I speak! Lord help me to be a blessing and not a hindrance!
God forgave me and I need to do the same to others. This is also part of the Lord’s prayer – forgive our trespasses as we/I have forgive their trespasses. This is an ongoing process. Forevermore. As the Lord has and still is forgiving me of my sins, so I too need to forgive others always. I need to be a stepping stone and not a stumbling block. An instrument of His peace.
For it’s in giving that we receive
It’s in forgiving that we’re forgiv’n
And it’s in dying that we are born
To eternal life, to eternal life.