Whether 77 Times or 490 Times, the Call to Forgive Persists

Then Peter came up and said to him [Jesus], “Lord, how often will my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you seven times, but seventy times seven.” Matt. 18:21-22

Lord Jesus, both joy and knots shape my communion with you this morning. The joy is about the exhaustive forgiveness we have in you. The knots come from the costly implications of that same forgiveness. As I pray for myself, I pray for others with the same calling to love well, in view of old hurts and present pain.

Hearing the name of someone with whom I’ve shared life and hurts, turned my stomach. Like stepping on a few Legos late at night, I winced with pain, and wished him harm.

Jesus, I thought I’d already forgiven from my heart. I thought I was over that story. I thought I’d dealt with that chapter a long time ago. Out of sight might be out of mind, but heart-pain has a photographic memory.

So, I come to you today for seventy-times-seven grace. I don’t want to be held hostage by my unforgiveness, self-righteousness, and desire for vindication. I humble myself before you, Jesus. This side of heaven, some relationships may never lead to reconciliation. But there’s no justification for tying our repentance to anybody else’s anything.

We are to forgive others as you’ve forgiven us, Jesus. It’s as simple and as costly as that. We’re not doormats, but the gospel does call us to be the doorway to stories of redemption. You’ve promised us all the wisdom and grace we need.

Until you return, the devil will continue to place legos in our paths, at opportune moments. But the toxins of bitterness, resentment, and unforgiveness are too deadly to store on the shelves of our hearts. Help us rehearse the gospel, more than the ways people have failed/hurt us, at a ratio of 100 to 1. So very Amen we pray in your liberating and healing name.

from Scotty Smith Posts – The Gospel Coalition http://ift.tt/2r9CLdH


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