The Golden Nugget: Make the tough choice of forgiving someone today.
Daily Verse: “Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, ‘Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?’ Jesus answered, ‘I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.’” —Matthew 18:21–22
How many reasons can you come up with in order not to forgive someone who has offended you, violated a trust, demeaned your personhood, or criminalized their relationship with you? Forgiveness is a tough choice to make because you may not want to forgive. It is especially tough when the other person has not expressed remorse or apology.
A guy named Peter asked Jesus about forgiveness. Peter thought he was going above and beyond with his generosity of forgiving seven times; he asked if this was sufficient in God’s eyes. The Hebrew tradition taught a person could be forgiven three times, but not a fourth, according to their interpretation of the prophet Amos. Imagine Peter’s shock and frustration when Jesus says that as often as humans offend each other, God wants us to be equally persistent in forgiving.
Seventy-seven times is symbolic of the amount of continuous and complete forgiveness you receive from God. God is after you with relentless affection. He is willing to forgive you as often as you ask for it. Receive it and let the mercy of God be the joy of your song.
- Why is God able to forgive easily when it is so difficult for us?
- What do you think true forgiveness feels like for the person who is forgiven? For the person forgiving?
No doubt you can list at least ten people in your life who have hurt you, even slightly. Whether their transgression was a “misdemeanor” or felonious, reach out to these ten people in the next twenty-four hours and forgive them. Know the cleansing experience God provides in the outcome.