‘Peter asked, “How many times should I forgive someone wno does … wrong to me? Is seven times enough?” Jesus answered: “Not…seven … but seventy-seven times!” ‘ (Matthew 18:21-22 CEV) But we shouldn’t stop there. If God gave each of us only seventy-seven ‘forgiveness passes’, we’d be in trouble! You can’t bankrupt your ‘forgiveness account’ with God. But when you refuse to forgive others, you’re overlooking the fact ‘that next time it might be one of you who is in the wrong.’ (Galatians 6:1 TLB) Jesus said, ‘Whenever you pray, forgive anytihng you have against anyone. Then your Father in Heaven will forgive your failures.’ (Mark 11:25 GWT) Whether it’s seven times, or seventy-seven, or seven thousand times, you always reap what you sow (Galatians 6:7). We’re all human, and when somebody hurts us we want justice. But God wants you to forgive the wrongdoer before he asks or shows any sign of remorse. Does that mean he will escape the consequences of his actions? No, it just means you’re not responsible ofr making it happen- God is. Harbouring grudges is spiritually, emotionally and physically draining; forgiveness energises and frees you to move on. Remember, you’ve been forgiven ‘in accordance with the riches of…grace… He lavished on us.’ But it comes with the requirement that you forgive others! When you think about the debt of God forgave you, anything anyone could ever do to you pales by comparison, right? Hym writer Annie Johnson Flint wrote: ‘His love has no limits, His grace has no measure, His power no boundary known unto men; For out of His infinite riches in jesus, he giveth and giveth and giveth again.’ Now that’s lavish grace!
*The Word for Today is published by UCB Australia. A free introductory copy of the devotional may be obtained from UCB Australia; 1800 00 777 0 or firstname.lastname@example.org*