As Jesus continues to travel the countryside talking about sin, sheep, and reconciliation, Peter pipes up and asks an interesting question.
"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)
One of the reasons I think it's so hard to get along in the world today is because we just don't have this attitude.
I mean, if someone cuts me off on the drive to work, it's not my first nature to think.."Oh Lord, may I forgive them." In fact, it's a lot more like, 'HEY!! What are you thinking?'
When someone offends me, I'm a whole lot more likely to look for ways I'm right, and they're wrong.
If there's ever someone who sins against me, I'm prone to write them off, and think they're not even worth taking the time to work through an issue with.
But that's not Jesus' way.
I believe, the more I read through Matthew, the more I'm seeing Jesus continuing to call those who choose to follow Him to the table of forgiveness and humility.
It's not about what you can get.
It's not about how much you can gain.
It's not even about how right you are.
The beauty of the gospel message is in forgiveness, no matter what the cost.
My heart is softening to all those people I've wronged in the past.
My soul is searching for people I've written off, and trying to find places where I need to re-connect and ask for forgiveness.
The power of the gospel is in the forgiveness of those we wrong, those who wrong us, and ultimately the beauty of a reconciliationn with all mankind.
May we be a people who find the value of God's intent through forgiveness.
May we hold tightly to this principle of never ending mercy.
May we take time diligently seek truth concerning our sin, others sin against us, and the healing God provides for all sin through His ultimate forgiveness.