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-seven times.
Matthew 18: 21 – 22
Peter had an idea that forgiveness might be about counting and calculating but Jesus tells him not. The ultimate gift of forgiveness was given by Jesus on the cross, so by denying forgiveness to those who sin against us, are we turning our back on Jesus?
“In Christian views, sin is an evil human act, which violates the rational nature of man as well as God’s nature and his eternal law”.(Wikipedia – debate that then!!)
However we regard “sin”, it is wrong and if you are the victim of that sin, you may be in a position to grant forgiveness? How does that make you feel, superior and self-righteous? Isn’t that also a sin?
For centuries, disunity and disagreement between Christians has often led to war, violence, scandal and confusion. Tolerance and patience are the examples set by Jesus and we must try to live as He did and work to cultivate a loving forgiveness.
We have come through recent years of unprecedented division in our land. First came the Scottish Independence Referendum and then Brexit. How many of us have forgiven those that we know voted differently from us? The hope for the future is that however we voted, we must come together to face the challenges that confront us all.
Prayer: Lord, please give us the strength to find forgiveness in our hearts when it is sought
Action: Don’t delay in granting forgiveness when it is asked for sincerely. It is far easier to grant forgiveness than to ask for it.