Seventy times seven

Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?” Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy times seven. “Therefore, the kingdom of heaven is like a king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants. As he began the settlement, a man who owed him ten thousand bags of gold was brought to him. Since he was not able to pay, the master ordered that he and his wife and his children and all that he had be sold to repay the debt. “At this the servant fell on his knees before him. ‘Be patient with me,’ he begged, ‘and I will pay back everything.’ The servant’s master took pity on him, canceled the debt and let him go.
 “But when that servant went out, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred silver coins. He grabbed him and began to choke him. ‘Pay back what you owe me!’ he demanded “His fellow servant fell to his knees and begged him, ‘Be patient with me, and I will pay it back.’ “But he refused. Instead, he went off and had the man thrown into prison until he could pay the debt.  When the other servants saw what had happened, they were outraged and went and told their master everything that had happened. “Then the master called the servant in. ‘You wicked servant,’ he said, ‘I canceled all that debt of yours because you begged me to. Shouldn’t you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you?’ In anger his master handed him over to the jailers to be tortured, until he should pay back all he owed.
“This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother or sister from your heart.”
Matthew 18:21-35 NIV

Ok, so my feelings were hurt… Someone said or did something that upset me. Don’t feel too sorry for me because what did I get in return? A big old dose of, what I should have done differently! God’s own unique way of teaching me a lesson, reminding me when I think I’ve got under control & got it right, how wrong I actually am. 

Have you ever had a friend hurt your feelings? Make you mad? Disappoint you?It doesn’t feel so great. Have you ever said or done something that hurt your friend? I have, even though I hate to admit it, we all have at some point. Didn’t  you wish you could just forget it all happened & start over? 
I’m so stubborn!  I’ll hold on to my hurt feelings & let that negativity stick around, I forget to let go & let God. I hold grudges. I love how He always has a way of putting me back into my place when I stupidly try to run the show! A wise & insightful friend of mine told me yesterday:  Just think, this is what God does for us every single day of our lives. We continually mess up and have hurt Him, I’m sure quite a bit, yet he wipes the slate clean and starts over fresh with us.  

And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive them, so that your Father in Heaven may forgive you your sins.
Mark 11:25 NIV

One of the most difficult things God asks of us is to forgive–absolutely and unconditionally, 
NO MATTER WHAT. 
Jesus said we’re to forgive seventy times seven, an endless number of times. He didn’t didn’t tell us to forgive only once we’ve received an apology, or only when it wasn’t really a big deal. He stressed unconditional forgiveness when He said: “This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother from your heart.”  Matthew 18:35 NIV.
Jesus told us in the parable that God doesn’t take lightly those who don’t forgive. Like that servant, we have been forgiven of SO much. Jesus doesn’t ask us to do anything He hasn’t done. From the cross, He cried out, “Father, forgive them.” (Luke 23:34)
When we ask the Lord for forgiveness for our wrong doings, they are thrown into the sea of forgetfulness, forever forgotten, never to be thought of ever again. How awesome is that? No matter what horrible things I’ve done, no matter how many times I’ve messed up, I AM FORGIVEN.  We are called to live a Christ-like life, if Jesus can beg for forgiveness for the men who nailed Him to a cross to suffer & die. Then my grudges seem so petty. 

I can’t be forgiven if I can’t forgive! 

Author: Aubry Johnson

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