"For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins." Matthew 6: 14-15 (NIV)
"Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times? Jesus answered, "I tell you , not seven times, but seventy times seven." Matthew 18:21-22 (NIV)
Corrie Ten Boom, a Christian woman who survived a Nazi concentration camp during the Holocaust, said, "Forgiveness is to set a prisoner free, and to realize the prisoner was you."
Have you ever shared something with someone you thought of as a friend only to have that confidence made public or told to another person? The feeling of betrayal is like a knife in the back. The first instinct is to get even, yet Jesus calls us on this, telling us to act in a different manner. He tells us to forgive, not once, but seventy times seven. In the act of forgiveness, we also need to examine our own actions; perhaps we are really the ones needed to be forgiven. Seventy times seven sounds like a lot, but look at what Christ has forgiven us and that number pales in comparison. Mary Fairchild writes, “we forgive out of obedience to the Lord. It is a choice, a decision we make. However, as we do this "forgiving," we discover the command is in place for our own good, and we receive the reward of our forgiveness - freedom.”
Thank you Father for the forgiveness found in Christ, for the redemption that I can never repay. May I be reminded when I am hurt by others that the hurt I feel is nothing compared to what You feel when I sin. May I always remember the price paid for my freedom. Amen.