Impact: Forgiveness (Day 5)

(Luke 17:3-4 NIV)

Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “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.”

Jesus doesn’t put a limit on our forgiveness. It would be so much easier if he had! I’m a big fan of the NIV translation but not in this case. Jesus’ words in the original Greek seem to be much more exaggerated. The result is not “seventy-seven times”, but “seventy times seven”. Jesus simply isn’t saying after many many many times of forgiveness, eventually that is enough. No, he is saying that you’ll never reach your limit of forgiveness because there isn’t one. Jesus wants us to be radical in our forgiveness because of the forgiveness that we’ve received from Him!

When we radically forgive someone, God is glorified in that moment. The Apostle Paul in the book of Philippians said that his imprisonment was used by God to advance the Gospel. So can your story of forgiveness!

I apologize if this story is a little touchy for some, but it’s true in the life of two people I hold dear to my heart. Radical forgiveness is possible. I have a friend who had an affair and they were forgiven by their spouse. It happened a second time. It happened a third time. The spouse chose to completely rely on Jesus to make it through this incredibly tough time in the life of their family. It took years to heal, but God is using this marriage to advance the Gospel in ways that most could never imagine. 

When Paul was in prison, it didn’t make sense that this could be used for any good at all, but many came to Christ because of it. When my friends were going through this time, forgiveness didn’t make sense, but their story is now used to strengthen marriages and glorify God. It didn’t make sense to the disciples when Jesus was lifted up on the cross, but thankfully, three days later it did!

“Heavenly Father, my sins against you equal a debt too large for me to pay. My sins were countless, yet you’ve forgiven them in full. I want to forgive others because of the way you’ve forgiven me. I need help! Teach me to extend your grace and mercy to others. Amen.”
 
-Kendall Beye