|In a conversation with Jesus, the disciple Peter asked the famous question: “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me?” Peter then suggested to Jesus, “seven times?” Peter was bragging here! Peter acknowledged that he understood what Jesus was saying about how he needed to forgive people. I think Peter was saying, I get it, I get it, Jesus. I believe as Peter boasted he said, I’ll tell you what, some people say you should forgive three times. Well, how about seven times? As a matter of fact, I will forgive seven times because seven is a holy number. And Jesus in His brilliance said, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.”
If we don’t yield to the process of forgiveness, we often forget that our anger, unforgiveness, and resentment towards others hurts a third party as well. Kids suffer when parents fight. An angry leader at a company hurts its employees. Anger, unforgiveness, and powering up against another person resemble an uncontrollable drunkenness. In the moment, you don’t think about how it’s affecting you, your family, or your country.
Friend, there are many offenses in the world, which may be one explanation for Jesus’ request to forgive seventy-seven times. The passion God has given to you can be used both for forgiveness as well as for love of your enemies. I encourage you to forgive to the point where it appears incredible all the way to the end. With the help of the Holy Spirit, you can forgive people who have offended you in such a way that you become insanely passionate about it!