Peter came to Jesus one day and asked him how often you should forgive someone who has offended you. Jesus responded by saying, “Seventy times seven.” This is challenging but a good spiritual discipline. As we journey through life, there will be times when we have wronged someone or someone has wronged us. So what do we do?? If one professes to be a Christian then the solution is a very easy one. We need to be like Jesus! Jesus says we are to forgive one another.
Jesus said, 38You have heard that it was said, “An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.” 39But I say to you, Do not resist an evildoer. But if anyone strikes you on the right cheek, turn the other also; 40and if anyone wants to sue you and take your coat, give your cloak as well; 41and if anyone forces you to go one mile, go also the second mile. 42Give to everyone who begs from you, and do not refuse anyone who wants to borrow from you. 43„You have heard that it was said, “You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.” 44But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45so that you may be children of your Father in heaven; for he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the righteous and on the unrighteous. 46For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax-collectors do the same? 47And if you greet only your brothers and sisters,* what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? 48Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect. (Matthew 5:38-48)
We are to forgive as God forgives - unconditionally. When we pray the Lord‟s Prayer, we say “forgive us our trespasses AS we forgive those who trespass against us.” There is a condition God puts upon us about our forgiveness. God will forgive us as we forgive others.
We are living in turbulent times. So many people seem to be hurt and offended. It is like everything gets under our skin. People live and act scared about all that is going on in this world today. We have come to the place where we get offended with the most minor things. Life for many has become a struggle.
Instead of pointing fingers and condemning, we all need to choose a better path. This is not an easy path for some but is the best path. There IS a better choice. A better way. Jesus reminds us when we have our disagreements, arguments, or ill feelings we can choose to offer forgiveness as often as we need to. Let me remind all that in this COVID-19 world, Jesus is our example.
To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that the prisoner was you. ~ Lewis B. Smedes