“‘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
Forgiveness is always a choice. By nature, we find it hard to say, “I’m sorry,” even when we know our wrongdoing. When we’ve been taken advantage of or hurt deeply, we also find it hard to forgive. Is it really possible to forgive someone again and again and again, as Jesus is indicating? We love to justify ourselves when we refuse to offer forgiveness, defending ourselves and dwelling on how terribly we were treated. Jesus is not impressed.
As Christians we need to have forgiving hearts, hearts that will never limit the number of times we forgive. This happens when we admit how often the Lord has forgiven us and when we allow God’s Spirit to dwell in us. It is the Spirit of God that enables us to forgive again and again. It is Jesus’ unending offer of forgiveness that moves our hearts. His forgiveness to all of mankind was purchased with His death on a cruel cross.
When we offer forgiveness, the beauty of Jesus is seen in us. So now we are living, talking, moving displays of forgiveness who offer the same to others.
"Let the beauty of Jesus be seen in me./ All His wonderful passion and purity./ Oh, Thou Spirit divine, all my nature refine,/ till the beauty of Jesus be seen in me.” (Albert Orsborn)