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When someone cruelly offends us, many times we do not forgive that person like we are commanded. Because we also have stored in our minds the memory of this person’s hurtful offense, often during heated conversations with that person we have chosen not to forgive we end up throwing that unforgiven hurtful act back in the face of the person we will not forgive.
Christ says that when we do not forgive EACH trespass someone commits against us, God will not forgive us of our wrongdoings and sins that we ask Him in prayer to forgive. Our Lord not only teaches us that we are to forgive but also teaches us that we are to forgive seven times seventy. Since seven is the number of spiritual perfection, completeness and peace, this spiritual truth means the seven times seventy or four hundred and ninety times we need to forgive someone for an offense symbolizes the perfection of forgiveness—the sense of complete forgiveness.
Now a person hardly ever commits the same offense against us four hundred and ninety times; however, we easily can replay an offense four hundred and ninety times in our minds. This spiritual truth is why with complete forgiveness (seven times seventy or four hundred and ninety times), the Holy Spirit in us can help us keep our minds from rerunning an offense over and over again. In other words, Christ’s seven times seventy complete forgiveness keeps us from continually remembering the offense, because we continually are forgiving the offender. Therefore, forgiving people four hundred and ninety times helps us to do so without consciously keeping track of how many times we either have forgiven a person or have been hurt by his or her mean actions. The point here is that Christ’s seven times seventy forgiveness command teaches and reminds us that forgiven people also have to forgive people.
Are we holding on to unforgiveness? If so, let us completely forgive the person or persons so that God will continue to forgive us, without keeping count of our trespasses or how often He has forgiven us. Shalom.
“And whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.” ~ Mk 11:25
Keep it real…Live it out…Watch it work!
~ from Keeping It Real: Daily Renewing the Mind—my one-year devotional