Peter came to him and asked, “Lord, how often should I forgive someone who sins against me? Seven times? “No, not seven times,” Jesus replied, “but seventy times seven!” Matt. 18:21-22
Lord Jesus, we live in a climate of offense-taking sensitivity and wrongs-recording vigilance. Spouses, brothers, friends, family, neighbors—when did being right become more important to us than being kind? We may not drop bombs on each other, but our avoidance, distance, passive aggressive ways, and icy body-language are our declaration of war on connection and intimacy.
We come to you today for “seventy-times-seven” grace. We humble ourselves before you. This side of heaven, some relationships won’t be “awesome,” but they don’t have to remain mercy-stingy, grace-withholding, or Gospel-contradicting.
Lord Jesus, by your Holy Spirit, reignite the glorious reality of the full and free forgiveness we have from you. May we never forget it, under-believe it, or take our forgiveness for granted.
We are to forgive others as you’ve forgiven us, Jesus. It’s as simple, messy, and as costly as that. The good news is, you finance our choice to forgive, love, and mend with the riches of the Gospel. Grudge-nursing, emotional wall-building, disconnect-protecting are free now, but will relationally bankrupt us later.
The mold of bitterness and unforgiveness—even a “chilly heart” are too deadly to store in our heart-pantry. May the wonder of our forgiveness be 10,000 times more real than… well, than anything else. Help us, Jesus. So very Amen we pray in your liberating and healing name.