Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?” Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times. MATTHEW 18:21–22
Forgiveness breaks the cycle of hurt, offense, and vengeance that often characterizes the world’s system. When we confess our own sins before our holy God, and remember the blood of Christ shed for us, we are free to extend His mercy to those who’ve hurt us. That makes us channels of healing to the world around us. Forgiveness opens up our future and gives us a fresh testimony of hope.
We do not forgive by our own strength alone but only by the power of Jesus who on that cross declared, “Father, forgive them, they don’t know what they do.” When we look to Him, when we draw from the strength of Christ’s forgiveness on the cross (first towards us while we were yet sinners), then His supernatural grace begins to flow through us to be able to forgive all who have sinned against us.
As 1 John 4:19 says, “We love because he first loved us.” In the same way, we can only forgive because He has first forgiven us! That forgiveness is an endless ocean of grace, strength, and mercy to forgive even the greatest of sins and even the greatest of sinners — beginning first with us and continuing to all who have sinned against us! Once we understand the depths from which we have been forgiven, there will be no forgiveness too great to extend to another.
Pray that we would remember and understand the depths from which we have been forgiven and cleansed by the blood of Jesus! That our forgiveness to others would simply become an overflow of the forgiveness that we have received from Christ. Pray that we, as the Body of Christ, would freely forgive one another and choose to see one another as God sees. Pray for genuine love to abound between ministries and churches. Pray that no root of bitterness would hinder the growth of the Lord’s work in ministries on campus.