How many times do you want God to forgive you?

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?”
Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.
(Matthew 18:21-22 (NIV))

Have you ever truly thought about this passage?

It almost sounds like Peter was looking for an “exit strategy” on forgiving others. To be honest with you, most people are probably looking for a count after which they can say that they have forgiven someone all that is required. In other words, Peter was asking if he had reached the maximum number of times that he needed to forgive someone.

Now come the tough questions.

Have you ever felt like you have forgiven someone as many times as you possibly could?

Is there someone whom you just don’t want to forgive?

What did Jesus tell Peter?

I honestly think that Peter was surprised at the answer that Jesus gave him. Peter was a down to earth person and did not mince words. Some would even say that he was rough around the edges. In his lifetime, just as in ours, he probably had someone who took advantage of him or mistreated him on numerous occasions. Perhaps Peter had grown a little callous and was looking for a way to justify his thoughts. Perhaps he was simply asking a question that had been burning inside of him.

We don’t really know exactly what Peter was thinking, but the answer that he received made him realize that forgiveness is a never ending process. I am thankful that it is.

We are to forgive as we are forgiven!

Forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
(Matthew 6:12 (NIV))

I want you to honestly answer a question.

How many times do you want God to forgive you?

Is it only seven?

Copyright 1998 – 2013 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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