Then Peter came to Him and asked, “Lord, how many times should I forgive someone who sins against me? Seven times?”
“No, not seven times,” Jesus replied, “but seventy times seven!” (Matthew 18:21-22, NLT)

Okay, let’s do some mental math. Seventy times seven…that would be 490. This is a passage I really enjoy reading. I kind of imagine Peter thinking he’s being pretty generous to forgive someone seven times. But then Jesus tells him that he must forgive not seven times, but seventy times seven times!

I don’t know about you, but I think I’d lose track before the 490th time.

I think that’s the point, though. I don’t think Jesus is saying, “All right, you have to forgive her 490 times, but when you get to 491, it’s okay to hold a grudge.” Yeah…probably not.

Rather, we will lose track. And because we lose track, we kind of have to keep on forgiving that person indefinitely, because we won’t know when we’ve reached the 491st time. That is the point–we aren’t supposed to stop forgiving someone after a certain number of times.

If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you. (Matthew 6:14)

The Gift of God

The Gift of God (Photo credit: listentothemountains)

This may seem unreasonable to you. We all have those people in our lives that hurt us, often intentionally. And you just think, “God, why do I have to keep forgiving this person? They’ve done so much to hurt me, and you’re saying I should show them kindness in return?”

Well, God could say the same thing about you. We’ve turned away from Him in sin countless times–far more than 490, I can assure you. And yet He has forgiven us. He sent His only Son to die on the cross for our sins, so that we did not have to take that punishment.

For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 6:23, NIV)

It seems kind of silly, then, when we complain about having to forgive those around us.

Imitate God, therefore, in everything you do, because you are his dear children. Live a life filled with love, following the example of Christ. He loved us and offered Himself as a sacrifice for us, a pleasing aroma to God. (Ephesians 5:1-2, NLT)

Love, forgiveness, faith…these are only a few of the things that people will see within us when we strive to imitate God. Things like forgiving others are often not easy. Remember what your Father did out of love for you, and love those around you–even those who have hurt you.


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4 thoughts on “Forgiveness

  1. Thanks so much for having a look at the video. It’s so important that we obey 1 Peter 3:15 by being ready to give people reasons for faith in Christ.

    I’m sharing this article around and wanted to give you the chance to read it:

    It’s by Answers in Genesis and teaches about the blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. I know this is a topic that is unfortunately not dealt with in church very much, and AiG did such a great job explaining it. I think you would find their article very beneficial to your Christian walk, I hope it’s helpful. 🙂


  2. Great message, because it is so hard to forgive people who intentionally hurt us. Really, really, really hard. This reminded me of 1Co 13:13 “And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.”

    This idea of forgiving those who intentionally hurt us sounds so simple, but if you try to do it, you see how deeply spiritually profound the idea is. It has to do with the deepest parts of us inside.

    I also wanted to share this video with you, it’s on the importance of learning Christian apologetics and using it to help others get saved. If you get a chance to watch it, I’d love to hear what you think:


    • Absolutely! We say, “Of course you should forgive everyone!”, but when it comes to actually forgiving the people who hurt us, we aren’t so eager.
      I took a brief look at the video, thanks for sharing. 🙂 It is so important to be grounded in our faith and also knowledgeable so that we can tell others what we believe and why when the time comes.


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