It was Peter who asked Jesus how many times he should forgive his brother who sins against him. Jesus gave Peter the typical answer in parable form by telling a story of a man who was forgiven much but who was unable to forgive little. Jesus used that illustration to challenge Peter about the reality of forgiveness. The problem is that we tend to base our forgiveness on whether or not a person earns it. In God's economy, however, we can never earn our forgiveness, and we must depend on His mercy and grace. So if we have been forgiven for the depth of our sinfulness, how can we possibly withhold forgiveness from someone else? We don't forgive others because they deserve it. We forgive others because our Heavenly Father first forgave us. When we realize how much we've been forgiven for, we cannot possibly keep from forgiving the small debts that are owed towards us. Is there someone you need to forgive? The Christian who has a full understanding of the forgiveness he or she has received will graciously extend forgiveness to others, no matter how big the offense.
You are here: / / As many times as it takes (Matthew 18)
Seth is a pastor, author, and speaker who lives in Batesville, Indiana. He is married to Kari, and they have two daughters, Madelyn and Noelle.