“Forgiveness…in accordance with the riches of…grace.” Eph 1:7 NIV
Peter asked, “‘How many times should I forgive someone who does…wrong to me? Is seven times enough?’” Jesus answered: ‘Not…seven…but seventy-seven times!’” (Mt 18:21-22 CEV). But we shouldn’t stop there. If God gave each of us only seventy-seven “forgiveness passes,” we’d be in trouble! You can’t bankrupt your “forgiveness account” with God. But when you refuse to forgive others, you’re overlooking the fact that “You might be needing forgiveness before the day’s out” (Gal 6:1 TM). Jesus said, “Forgive—only then will your heavenly Father…wipe your slate clean” (Mk 11:25 TM). Whether it’s seven, seventy-seven, or seven thousand times, you always reap what you sow (See Gal 6:7). We’re all human, and when somebody hurts us we want justice. But God wants you to forgive the wrongdoer before he asks or shows any sign of remorse. Does that mean he will escape the consequences of his actions? No, it just means you’re not responsible for making it happen, God is. Harboring grudges is spiritually, emotionally, and physically draining; forgiveness energizes and frees you to move on. Remember, you’ve been forgiven “in accordance with the riches of…grace…he lavished on us.” But it comes with the requirement that you forgive others! When you think about the debt God forgave you, anything anyone could ever do to you pales by comparison, right? “His love has no limits, His grace has no measure, His power no boundary known unto men; For out of his infinite riches in Jesus, He giveth and giveth and giveth again” (Annie Johnson Flint, 1866-1932). Now that’s lavish grace!
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