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)
"Forgive me, Lord." How many times do we start our prayers this way?
Technically, we always should. (Well, I'll grant that we can start with Thank you, Lord, but I think you understand that we are always in need of forgiveness, right?)
I don't particularly like being sinful, but I am. I can put effort into not sinning and I can be fairly successful for a while, but then I find myself thinking something unmerciful, or doing something I know isn't healthy, or in other words, sinning. There are myriad ways, and I do believe I've discovered them all (or most of them at least). Since one is as bad as the other, that's really a moot point.
But my purpose in this post is to think about forgiveness. When someone sins against us, forgiveness is not always the first thing on our minds. Yet Jesus tells us to forgive our neighbor not once, not twice, but seventy-seven times. I believe that even the most petty among us would lose count somewhere along the way, and that's the point. We should just keep on forgiving. Why?
How many times have you asked God to forgive you, assuming that He would? How many times for the exact same thing?
So we are called to love as God loves us, and forgive as God forgave us. Which, if everyone's life is the same as mine, means that we are to forgive over, and over, and over, and over and...
I think you get the point.