Um… my house is filled with “How many times…?”
How many times…
…have I washed this same dish?
…do I have to sweep the floor?
…will it be my job to load the dishwasher?
…did I ask you not to yell?
…have you lost your glasses?
…will you ask me that same question?
This was today:
“How many more times today are you going to get into trouble?”
Some things wear us right thin, right to the point of loosing patience and running out of coping mechanisms. When we find the limit of our “how many times…” it sure can get worse than that as well.
Jesus was asked a, “How many times…” question too.
21 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?”
This one gets me. It hits me right in this mama’s heart… except not about my brother or sister. No, no.. for my children.
How many times must I forgive?
Goodness, how deeply I understand the heart of this question. Come on now, really?! How many times?! ‘Cause this is just plain ridiculous! And, I’m pretty sure we’ve exceeded seven. (Ever had those days?)
Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy times seven.”
Seventy times seven… it’s like saying an excessively, obscene amount of times.
Forgiveness is the heart of God towards us and the heart of God for us. And not just a little sprinkle of forgiveness but an ocean. Scripture tells us the heard of God towards us: “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9 “The Lord our God is merciful and forgiving, even though we have rebelled against him;” Daniel 9:9 “The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” Lamentations 3:22-23
The heart of God for us is that we would, “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” Ephesians 4:32
Have a few, “How many times….” on your list today?
More to the point, do you have a few specific people you are struggling to forgive?
Take some time, right now, to meditate on God’s word, bring your struggles to the Lord, and take steps to forgive, “just as in Christ God forgave you.”
How many times has God forgiven me? I can’t even comprehend that number. I’m thankful for God’s merciful forgiveness, restorative acts of grace, and never ending love. And, in that example, I’ve got some “how many times…” I need to work on forgiving, healing, restoring, and loving today…
How about you?
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