Then Peter approaching asked him, “Lord, if my brother sins against me, how often must I forgive him? As many as seven times?” Matthew 18:21 NABRE
Peter speaks for the disciples raising the question of how often he should forgive a brother who sins against him. In his day Peter might have thought forgiving seven times to be quite generous, it was thought forgiving three times is sufficient for the same offense. Jesus responds it is not seven times but seventy-seven times. Jesus suggests boundless forgiveness of a brother or sister. To illustrate the point Jesus tells a parable about a servant who is completely forgiven by his master, yet does not forgive a servant in his care. Since the one forgiven did not forgive, the master recalls his forgiveness and punishes this “wicked servant.” Jesus tells the disciples that forgiveness is very important in the Kingdom of heaven, disciples should forgive one another limitlessly. But if you do not forgive others, your Father will not forgive you. Who of us could stand to receive what is just from God? We all have much need to be forgiven. So as people who need to be forgiven we must be people generously providing forgiveness.
Forgiveness is difficult for humans, we are more naturally inclined toward revenge or at least a quid pro quo arrangement when we have been hurt or wronged. There is something in our human nature that seeks a hurt from one who hurts us, even if they are someone we love dearly. We think, she hit me so if I hit her all is “even.” But that doesn’t make sense. Our divine nature is to forgive. Not only to forgive but to forget, just as God will never mention our wrong doing, we should forgive our brothers and sisters and in so doing provide an example of life with God.
Is it easy for you to forgive? Who do you owe forgiveness now?God will never mention our wrong doing, we should forgive our brothers and sisters and in so doing provide an example of life with God. Click To Tweet
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