Forgiveness: 70 Times 7
The Bible says we are to forgive “70 times 7.” What does this mean? In Jesus’s day, to forgive seven times was seen as the ultimate victory in forgiveness. So, Peter asks Jesus if that is sufficient, forgiving seven times in Matthew 18:21-22. Jesus says no. We must forgive “70 times 7.” And that does not mean that on the 491st time we get to seek revenge. No. Revenge solely belongs to God (Romans 12:19). That is his job. I think God designed it this way because we don’t do revenge very well as broken humans. We tend to retaliate a bit more than our offender has hurt us. Forgiving “70 times 7” simply means that every time the hurt comes into our mind from our offender, we must forgive. Repeatedly. Daily. Consistently. By the moment. The hurt gets easier and lighter each time we forgive. Turn your offender over to God. Let him carry out justice in his way and in his timing. We see David’s heart for the righteous and just side of God in Psalm 7:8-10. David cries out, “The Lord judges the peoples; judge me, O Lord, according to my righteousness and according to the integrity that is in me. Oh let the evil of the wicked come to an end, and may you establish the righteous – you who test the minds and hearts, O righteous God! My shield is with God, who saves the upright in heart.” Our hurt can last a while, which is why we need the reminder to forgive each day. Over time, the hurt will lessen. Trust the God of the universe is just. Trust that he will act when he sees fit. Trust that no one gets away with anything in eternity. One day – either here or in heaven – there will be justice. In God’s way. One day.