"how often should I forgive? As many as seven times? 22 Jesus said to him, "not seven times, but I tell you, seventy-seven times." (Matthew 18:21b-22)
How are you with numbers? I struggle with numbers. If I can have paper, pencil and do it the way we learned in 2nd grade I can, usually, come up with the right answer. I can even still do parts of the multiplication table -- if I stop and think about it. I have been blessed, and I am very thankful for, with people who help me with numbers.
Then we get the Scripture like this morning...... Peter thinks he is doing so well because he is willing to forgive 7 times! This translation has Jesus pointing out "77" times but several translations say "seventy TIMES seven" (emphasis mine). Even I can do that much with numbers -- we just went from 77 to 490 times!!
This seems like a lot, even seven might be more than we need or use -- right? But then when you think about the times you have forgiven someone only to remember and think about the issue again... the next day, the next week, the next month or even the next year. Depending on what the issue is we could get to the 7, even the 77 and pretty close to the 490. The prayer is: "forgive our trespasses as we forgive our trespassers." (emphasis mine)
So.......how are you with numbers? Remember the forgiveness is for YOU not, necessarily, for the person you are forgiving. Something to think about.........
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