March 6, 2013
READ: Matthew 18:23-35
Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven times? —Matthew 18:21
Life is a lot like “bumper cars” at an amusement park. You get in your car, knowing that you will get hit . . . you just don’t know how hard. And when you get hit, you step on the gas pedal, chase the one who has hit you, and hope to bump that person harder than they have bumped you.
That may be a fun strategy for bumper cars, but it’s a terrible strategy for life. When you get bumped in life, bumping back only escalates matters and in the end everyone suffers damage.
Jesus had a better strategy: Forgive those who have “bumped” us. Like Peter, we may wonder how many times we have to forgive. When Peter asked Jesus, “Up to seven times?” Jesus answered “Up to seventy times seven” (Matt. 18:21-22). In other words, there are no limits to grace. We should always extend a spirit of forgiveness. Why? In the story of the forgiving master, Jesus explained that we forgive not because our offenders deserve it but because we’ve been forgiven. He says, “I forgave you . . . because you begged me. Should you not also have had compassion on your fellow servant, just as I had pity on you?” (vv.32-33).
Since we are among those who’ve been forgiven much, let’s stop the damage and share that blessing with others.
— Joe Stowell
and how often You have extended the grace of
forgiveness to us. Teach us to forgive others and to trust
You to deal with those who sin against us.
Forgiveness is God’s grace in action through us.
Source: Our Daily Bread