"Then Peter came to Him and said, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven" (Matthew 18:21-22). That's mathematically 490 times of forgiving a person over and over! Sheeze! at the 3rd time of forgiving the same person of the same offense or any offenses, I am ready to pop him or her in neck (being melodramatic here).
However, in tying this verse to Jesus and how He forgives us, we are required to forgive that much, because He forgives us that much. No one on this earth is perfect or goes through a day without sinning in some way (I'm sure the level of sins are different...whether it's pride or anger, there are subtle sins we are oblivious too and that's why we need His forgiveness daily). When we seek forgiveness with a repentant [remorseful] and humble [without pride] heart, He forgives us without any grudges or bitterness. He frees us from our sins because of His grace. By His example, we can be inspired to be as gracious in forgiveness, whether the offending person seeks it or not.
I think forgiveness also refers to us forgiving ourselves for the mistakes we have made. I know this too personally. Too often we hold ourselves to unrealistic expectations, beat ourselves up for failing again, judging ourselves and putting ourselves down, not realizing we are sinning against GOD when we do this, because HE CREATED us and since we are in Him, we are a new creation (2 Cor 5:17). We are blameless. We are free from condemnation (Romans 8:1) and our old ways are forgiven and in the past.
Remember, forgiveness is a heart thing and a character thing. It doesn't mean we are responsible for our offenders [rescuer complex] or that we are to put up with their abuse [victim state]. It also doesn't mean the offenses were okay. Forgiveness frees us from the power we give to the offenders when we are unforgiving. It means freeing a person from our wrath so that they are not enslaved to their offense, whether they seek forgiveness or not. It means we do not want terrible things for them. It means giving them to God and freeing our hearts from unforgiveness, a bondage that keeps us away from an intimate relationship with Jesus.
Forgiveness is a daily action. Such as seeking His forgiveness is a daily action. For me, I'm a work in progress.
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