“Forgiveness is the key that unlocks the door of resentment and the handcuffs of hatred. It is a power that breaks the chains of bitterness and the shackles of selfishness.” Corrie ten Boom
Forgiveness is one of those Hard Things in our lives of faith that Christ asks us to do. In today’s Gospel when Peter asked, “how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?” Jesus answers, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.” (Matthew 18:21-22)
Oft times forgiving others is not an easy thing to do even once, but 77 times? That’s a whole lot of forgiveness.
Forgiveness sets us free from the hold bitterness and hurts have over our hearts. Maybe the 77 times is that when we forgive by God’s mercy and grace (it’s sure hard on my own steam) we need to keep forgiving others (& ourselves.)
Say we forgive someone (or ourselves) for something specific, but a few weeks later we get steamed up about it, so we go through Forgiveness 101 again (& again) until we get to the 501 level where our anger & bitterness finally dissipate when the issue resurfaces.
Again, not (not not not not) easy, this forgiveness thing. This cracked clay pot usually needs lots of prayer (& Holy Spirit assistance) to forgive.
But Jesus Christ on the Cross asked God:
grace, peace & forgiveness
Virginia : )
“Forgiveness is me giving up my right to hurt you for hurting me.” Anonymous