Then our readings, today, bring more news of the Gospel -- the GOOD news! The love of God reaching out to each, and all, of us. Psalm 32 not only shares God's love but blesses "the one whose transgressions are forgiven." (verse 1 NIV) The Gospel reading, this morning, is in Matthew 18 - Jesus has called us to "become like children" (v. 3), told the story of the "lost lamb" (v. 12-13) and gives instructions for when you are having difficulties with someone. I especially like his instruction to Peter about forgiveness - 77 times, or 70 times 7 times (depending on your translation). Jesus also points out, again, if we don't forgive then God can't forgive either. (v. 35) "Forgive us our sins, as we have forgiven those who sin against us." (Matthew 6:12 NLT)
So what are we supposed to do? Forgive??! I can hear it now - the (as my mother used to say) big but..... I would be telling her what a brother, sister, friend, "enemy" had done and how bad it had been. Like Peter I was asking forgive HOW MANY times?!!
Then I learned an important lesson. The forgiveness is NOT for the person who has said, or done, the thing that hurt. The forgiveness is for me. The forgiveness is so I can go on, move on, move forward. And, yes, sometimes it means forgiving more than once. You know me - I do not like numbers - so I'm not sure if I have ever forgiven the 77 times let alone the 490 times but I know sometimes it is forgiving more than once.
What about you? Are you still holding onto the hurt? The forgiveness IS for you -- the servants still had to repay - and, no, the person you are forgiving may never even know they hurt you let alone how you forgave. God, however, will know.