We’re all familiar with unlimited calls and texts, right? But have you heard of unlimited forgiveness?
That’s what we got from the Father, that’s what He wants us to give others. Check this out.
Matthew 18:21-35 21 Then Peter went up to him and said, 'Lord, how often must I forgive my brother if he wrongs me? As often as seven times?' 22 Jesus answered, 'Not seven, I tell you, but seventy-seven times. 23 'And so the kingdom of Heaven may be compared to a king who decided to settle his accounts with his servants. 24 When the reckoning began, they brought him a man who owed ten thousand talents; 25 he had no means of paying, so his master gave orders that he should be sold, together with his wife and children and all his possessions, to meet the debt. 26 At this, the servant threw himself down at his master's feet, with the words, "Be patient with me and I will pay the whole sum." 27 And the servant's master felt so sorry for him that he let him go and cancelled the debt. 28 Now as this servant went out, he happened to meet a fellow-servant who owed him one hundred denarii; and he seized him by the throat and began to throttle him, saying, "Pay what you owe me." 29 His fellow-servant fell at his feet and appealed to him, saying, "Be patient with me and I will pay you." 30 But the other would not agree; on the contrary, he had him thrown into prison till he should pay the debt. 31 His fellow-servants were deeply distressed when they saw what had happened, and they went to their master and reported the whole affair to him. 32 Then the master sent for the man and said to him, "You wicked servant, I cancelled all that debt of yours when you appealed to me. 33 Were you not bound, then, to have pity on your fellow-servant just as I had pity on you?" 34 And in his anger the master handed him over to the torturers till he should pay all his debt. 35 And that is how my heavenly Father will deal with you unless you each forgive your brother from your heart.'
Complete Unlimited Forgiveness
We’ve talked about the number 7 when we talked about Naaman, the leper, being told to wash in the Jordan 7x so he will be healed.
Seven is the number of God, the perfect number denoting completeness, totality.
And now Jesus talks about forgiveness and forgiving others.
He associates the number 7 with it too.
How often should I forgive others?
21 Then Peter went up to him and said, 'Lord, how often must I forgive my brother if he wrongs me? As often as seven times?'22 Jesus answered, 'Not seven, I tell you, but seventy-seven times.
Peter thought he was being generous and merciful when he said as many as 7x.
But Jesus said 77x instead!
See that double number 7? It’s totality and completeness x 2!
He’s in effect saying, Unlimited forgiveness, that’s how many times we should forgive.
Receiving unlimited forgiveness
Because we have received from God total, unlimited forgiveness, that’s why.
I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve asked God for forgiveness.
But God had been so generous, so merciful.
He does not treat me as my sins deserved.
He does not treat me as a sinner but as His child whom He accepts again and again.
Have you experienced that with God?
I’m sure you have.
Because none of us is perfect.
Only Jesus is perfect.
He became a man like us yet remained unblemished with sin and remained perfect as God.
So one way or another, we have all received forgiveness from God.
Unlimited complete forgiveness.
Giving unlimited forgiveness
To be honest, I think in all of my 46 years here on earth, I’ve never had to give unlimited forgiveness.
I’ve never had to forgive someone again and again.
I’ve never had to forgive someone who hurt me so deeply I find it hard to forgive.
My attitude had always been “vengeance is the Lord’s.”
Whenever I had someone I’ve never really gotten along well with in the past, or who hurt me one way or another, I’ve always just turned to the Lord in prayer.
I let God do the fighting for me.
Of course, I don’t allow them to treat me like a doormat.
I speak my mind when the need arises, but I only just talk about my point of view, seeking to understand the other.
I find that when I let God do the fighting for me, either of these 2 things happens:
It’s either they become my friends so they’re not hurting me anymore and we’re no longer at odds against each other.
Or God removes them from my life by taking them away from me or taking me far away from them and the situation.
For instance, co-workers I don’t get along with change workplaces or I get transferred; I stopped going to that community who hurt me in a way; I resigned and got a new and much better job when I didn’t get along well with my supervisor from my last employment.
Being far away, I get to see them with a different perspective, a much more forgiving one.
So it’s easy for me to pray for them, even asking God to bless them.
Having prayed for them and seeing them in a much forgiving light, I never talk bad about them in any way.
If anyone asks why I moved, resigned, or stopped attending I share what happened and my point of view without putting anyone down and that’s it.
Often I don’t even go into details.
Before God taught me to deal with conflict this way, I would hold a grudge against that person.
I will never talk to them again, going out of my way to avoid them.
And certainly, I will never pray for them.
But having learned to deal with conflict in God’s way, letting go and letting God, I’m now more at peace with people and life in general.
Remember Jesus’ warning if you do not forgive others as God has forgiven you:
The king was very angry, and he sent the servant to jail to be punished until he should pay back the whole amount.” And Jesus concluded, “That is how my Father in heaven will treat every one of you unless you forgive your brother from your heart.” Matthew 18:34-35 GNBDK
Now your turn
Is there anyone you’ve had conflict with and now you’re holding a grudge against them one way or another?
Let God do the fighting for you. Let go and let God.
He will deal with the person and the situation much more mercifully and wonderfully than you ever can – with unlimited forgiveness.
Here’s a beautiful prayer from the first reading today from Azariah who prayed this prayer with 2 of his friends in the pit of a fiery furnace where their enemies threw them in:
41 And now we put our whole heart into following you, into fearing you and seeking your face once more. 42 Do not abandon us to shame but treat us in accordance with your gentleness, in accordance with the greatness of your mercy. 43 Rescue us in accordance with your wonderful deeds and win fresh glory for your name, O Lord. Daniel 3
I found and curated this beautiful story of a man who gave forgiveness freely, just as Jesus would do, no matter how painful the pain somebody caused him.
By the grace of God.
I’m not sure I’ll be able to do as he did.
I’m praying I, or anyone for that matter, won’t get to that point.
But when we do get to that point where we need to decide to forgive or hurt back, I pray we decide to forgive.
Unlimited forgiveness for us and for those who hurt us.
- In times of conflict and pain, let God fight for you
- Let go and let God
- Pray for those who hurt you
Thank you for giving me unlimited forgiveness, so much more than I deserve. Help me, in turn, give unlimited forgiveness to people who hurt me. I let go and let You be God over us and in every conflict and pain. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
This is it for now. Till next time.
To our health, wealth, and victory – GODSPEED!