Forgiveness Seven Times – October 3, 2016

Matthew 18:21, 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?” 22Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.”

Mark 11:25, Whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father who is in heaven will also forgive you your transgressions.

Daniel 9:9, To the Lord our God belong compassion and forgiveness…

At Cottonwood Creek, I’m currently teaching a series titled ‘Relationship Goals God’s Way. If you missed my previous weeks inspirational thoughts on letting love and humility reign in your relationships, you can find them on my daily blog, www.johnmarkcaton.com.

Sunday, I spoke on the importance of forgiveness in our relationships. In Matthew 18:21, Peter spoke to Jesus and said, “…Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?” It should be noted that Peter asked how many times he should forgive a brother or sister. He was not referring to a stranger who hurt you. Peter was talking about someone close, perhaps a family member, a friend, a spouse or a child. Peter wanted Jesus to clarify how many times forgiveness was necessary for those who asked. Certainly, Peter thought that seven was a pretty generous amount to forgive considering the seriousness of the painful offenses about which  Peter referenced. Before we even consider Jesus’ extraordinary answer, let me invite you to truly consider that number seven and the person you are struggling to forgive. We all get offended. We all feel slighted or hurt. The question is, “How do YOU deal with it?” Do you sever the relationship and slam the door on restoration? Do you retaliate and hurt the person back? Do you ignore the person and his/her action?

Or, are you at least as forgiving as Peter?  If not, let your forgiveness start there, seven times! Have you forgiven them for at least seven major offenses?

Think about that and have a blessed day!

John Mark Caton, Ph.D