“Even if they sin against you seven times in a day and seven times come back to you saying ‘I repent,’ you must forgive them.” (Luke 17:4)
If asked whether you’d prefer to forgive or be forgiven, most people would likely say that they want forgiveness to be granted to them, but they’re not always excited about sharing it generously with others. In fact, sometimes forgiving others is one of the hardest things that we’re asked to do, and yet it’s one of the most important things that marks a follower of Jesus.
In speaking with his disciples, Jesus stated that, even if a person sins against them seven times in a day, they must be willing to forgive. That’s a lot of forgiving! And yet, it’s not more than the forgiveness that Jesus gave to us.
The key to being able to forgive others rests in understanding just how much we have been forgiven of ourselves.
Consider this: have you ever brought a sin before God and promised you would never commit it again? Then maybe hours or days later, you found yourself immersed in the same thing you said you’d never do? And do you know what God does when you come to him? He tells you to get out of his presence – He wants nothing to do with you. NOT! He welcomes you back time and time again, and He accepts you.
When we truly grasp how much we have been forgiven of, how can we possibly fail to forgive someone else? There is no explanation other than we don’t truly grasp our own sinfulness. My guarantee to you is that your offenses to God are far worse than the offenses of another human to you. So the next time you’re tempted not to forgive, just remember that God forgave you for far more than you’re being asked to forgive in the moment.
Father, thank You for the vast forgiveness that You have given to me. Another person’s offenses to me are paltry in comparison to my sin that nailed Jesus to the cross. Help me to be generous in my forgiveness just as You are.