“Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times must I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?” – Mat 8:21 (NIV)
One must like the Apostle Peter for his frankness. Let’s be honest who has not been hurt, sometimes repeatedly by some annoying offender, like a thorn in the flesh, and wondered if the offender was worth ever forgiving. Maybe once you did. Then again!
Indeed, in raising children, it happens quite often. Teaching toilet manners is one of those. You tell the child to wipe everything clean after him peeing over the toilet seat only for the guy to do the damage over again. You insist and might even threaten some corporal punishment. Yet until the lesson sinks into the child of its own you might as well with annoyance cry yourself hoarse. You might just as well forgive.
But children are easy to forgive, even when they repeatedly upset one. How about if it is an adult causing you torment over and over again? Among couples living together in a marital relationship there is never short of those incidents where one yet again causes offense in spite of all previous vows not to repeat the same offending behaviour again. It could be simple maters like removing the bath towel or more upsetting ones such as failure to pick up kids on time from school and being fined.
Pressed with this question by the sincere Peter, perhaps expecting a “you can only take so much” Jesus calmly offered back, “I tell you not seven but seventy -seven times” (Mat 18:22, NIV)! Humanly impossible, yes! But then trusting God all things are possible.
Prayer for today: Lord Father in heaven, today I pray in the mighty name of Jesus of Nazareth that where my brother or sister offends me I remember your words to ever be forgiving because you make it possible.