Then Peter came and said to him, â€œLord, how often shall my brother sin against me, AND I forgive him? Until seven times?â€ Â Â Â Â Matthew 18:21 (WEB, my emphasis)
Too often I can read past this verse, dismissing it that it does not apply to me. â€œI don’t have anything to forgive my brother!â€
Jesus’ lesson is not so pointed here. Peter could be me asking how often I forgive my husband. It could be how often do I forgive my mother or father. Or how often shall I forgive my co-worker or boss.
Forgiveness is a subject that I have shared many, many, many times in these devotions. I don’t think God is sure that I have learned my lessons here. I am sure I haven’t! I can state the lessons about forgiveness but in my day-to-day walk â€“ I struggle with forgiveness. I am going to attempt to honestly put into words what is in my heart:
As I grow in my relationship with Jesus, I learn more about obedience and disobedience. I learn more about â€œrightâ€ and â€œwrongâ€. Pretty much at this point in my life with Jesus, I know when I commit a sin. I know when I am holding un-forgiveness in my heart. When I lay down at night and ask God to review my day, I know about repentance! With this knowledge comes the slippery slope of judgment. It is so much easier to take what I know and apply it to everyone else.
â€œDonâ€™t judge, so that you wonâ€™t be judged. For with whatever judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with whatever measure you measure, it will be measured to you. Why do you see the speck that is in your brotherâ€™s eye, but donâ€™t consider the beam that is in your own eye? Or how will you tell your brother, â€˜Let me remove the speck from your eye;â€™ and behold, the beam is in your own eye? You hypocrite! First remove the beam out of your own eye, and then you can see clearly to remove the speck out of your brotherâ€™s eye.â€ Â Â Â Mathew 7:1-4 (WEB)
And so Jesus’ point is that I apply what I know to myself before I look to someone else! (Leave the judgment to the One who is qualified!)Â Jesus wants so much for me to be a wise, obedient child of God. Like any good parent, God wants me to succeed and be happy. I will live in that state through wisdom and obedience in the lessons He teaches me. So today I will once again, I will take Jesus’ lessons into my heart first and pass them along to you â€“ and let GOD decide how He will present that to you! And if we should run into a conflict as we are both on our journeys â€“ may God also direct our conversation in His Spirit and His Truth.