Then Peter came and said to him, ‘Lord, if another member of the church sins against me, how often should I forgive? As many as seven times?’ Jesus said to him, ‘Not seven times, but, I tell you, seventy-seven times.’” vss. 21-22Matthew 18:21-22
When things get broken in our lives, and we begin to realize that we’ve made a mess of our relationships, the burden can become overwhelming. Our bumbling around and careless regard for truth causes real pain for those we’re called to love, and their displeasure is obvious. Often they put us in our place with harsh and biting words and we really have no defense. And this is always the way it’s been for the children of God. From the beginning sin has been our nemesis and has ruined countless lives. And while we regularly try to make amends for our hurtful words and actions, we can seldom come close to making things right. Jesus taught that only forgiveness can bring restoration, not in the sense of evening the score, but by offering pardon instead of penalty. Through his example and influence forgiveness has become a central tenet of the Christian faith. Not only do we need it in abundance but he calls on us to be prolific in our forgiving. That’s easier said than done. But if we really want to enjoy the beautiful life God has for us in this world, we should remember that it all starts with having a forgiving spirit. Everything else follows from that!
Thought for the Day: What is a forgiving spirit?