The Northfield

  2535 Shore Road

  Northfield, NJ 08225


Church of Christ




Bad Forgiveness

"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 up to seventy times seven' " (Matt.18:21-22).

The number seventy times seven in today's verse probably does not mean 490, but rather numberless times. Jesus is trying to explain that forgiveness ought to be like counting from 229 to 230. By the time we get to those high numbers, forgiveness should be a habit and come very naturally. Jesus followed this with a parable (Vs. 22-35) about forgiving debts. The indication from the parable is that God is very forgiving, but he judges those who refuse to forgive very harshly. The culmination of the parable finds these words from Jesus; "This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother from your heart" (Vs 35). That's real serious stuff! In his prayer of example (The Lord's Prayer) and immediately following it, Christ taught that our forgiveness from God is contingent upon our forgiveness of others. The parable also teaches that when man sees the enormity of his own sins and is grateful for God's forgiveness, the sin of his fellow man toward him will seem like a millionth part by comparison. This comparison will make it easier to forgive others. Let me finish with a story... A minister once saw a man severely berating a subordinate. One of the things he said was this; "Take care of what you say and do: I never forgive!" The minister looked at the man in charge and replied quietly; "Sir, my hope is that you never sin.." The man responded, "Never sin? Why of course I sin. What has that got to do with my statement?" The minister said, "If you never forgive, you will never be forgiven..." The one who does not forgive breaks the bridge over which he himself must pass....

Have a great day... Do good and give God the credit.... Love mark Phil.4:11

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