"Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Jesus answered,’ I tell you, not seven times, but seventy –seven times"(NIV) Matthew 18:21-22
Bible Reading: Matthew 18: 21-35
The Christian life rests on many values including forgiveness. Forgiveness is at the heart of Christianity: that is to say Christianity is about needing forgiveness. It is about wanting, seeking and finding forgiveness in Jesus Christ. As it means, to forgive requires that one ceases to blame someone or something; to grant pardon for a mistake; to free someone from penalty; to free someone from the obligation of a debt. Forgiveness is in two aspects: forgiveness that comes from God through Jesus Christ and our forgiveness to others because God has forgiven us.
In today’s bible reading, we can learn how God generously forgives us of our sins because we ask him to. In as much as He willingly forgives us, He expects that we do likewise for our fellow men. However, faced with today’s quest for worldly pleasures and power, most of us forget our basic requirement as Christians - forgiveness. Tit-for-tats is now an accepted norm.
People who are indebted to us- businessmen, friends, family members etc. face harsh treatment from us like the case of the wicked servant. We turn blind eyes on the people who ask for forgiveness from us when they hurt or owe us. We may argue the point that; “If I don’t treat him that way he will continue doing it or will never pay back” but let’s ask ourselves; what difference does it make if our attitudes cannot differentiate us from those of the world? If God treats us in a similar way, what will we say of Him?
Brethren, let us remember that we are in this world but we aren't of this world. When God forgives us, he forgives completely (Psalms 103:12) and He expects us to do the same. When we forgive but harbour memories of the act in an attempt to pay back when the opportunity arises, then it would have been better if we had not forgiven the person at all. God forgives us so we in turn can forgive others (Matthew 18:23-35).
Our forgiveness as Christians has no limit, and it is only when we understand God’s forgiveness, will we be willing to forgive others and forget their actions.