One time I sat down in my room thinking, ‘what kind of roommates do I have?’. I mean, was there anything these guys didn’t do that I had obviously expressed total disregard for?! I’m this very meticulous person so I always like to find my toothbrush right where I leave it, or any other of my personal stuff.
Funny enough, I am definitely not the first person to have felt or thought this way before (which isn’t good enough though).
Peter asked our Lord Jesus this very important question, probably at a time when he had also had enough of tolerating people’s inadequacies.
Matthew 18:21-22 KJV
- Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times?
- Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven.
Wow! To be honest, if I had asked Jesus that question, I would have asked whether three times was enough instead of seven. I mean letting go the first time was enough, not to talk of three. After three strikes, that was it
Jesus however surprised Peter with a profound answer: Until seventy times seven. He was actually saying to forgive one another, a whooping 490 times because 70 multiplied by 7 gives that.
I don’t think anyone could offend anyone up to 490 times each day. That is alot! It’s only if one is counting, even at that. I dare to say that Jesus indeed expects us to forgive just the way he does. Forgiving someone says a lot: it says you understand the frail nature of that individual and his/her excesses and that you are patient enough not to give up on that individual.
It’s just the same way God doesn’t just give up on us after every single mistake we make, he still loves us enough to pick us and help us on the road to recovery.
I once heard a Man of God say that the word ‘forgive’ comes from two words, ‘fore’ (in advance) and ‘give’ (to let go of something). Let us therefore learn, as God helps us, to credit the account of people we come across each day with 490 acts of forgiveness.
Also published on Medium.