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?” Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but up to seventy times seven.” [Matthew 18:21-22]
Really? Seventy times seven??? Let us see how that’s possible.
Explanation of seventy times seven
Think that a murder is committed and the concerned relation has forgiven the criminal. Then how to forgive 70×7 times? Can the same person be killed that many times to be forgiven seventy times seven? No way.
Digging deeply, we realise that though forgiveness is granted, whenever the concerned relation recalls the incident his feelings will subdue him and give life to that crime as long as he lives and thus hatred can seep in. If he fails to forgive every time his mind recalls the crime, his forgiveness is still incomplete.
Forgive till you forget
We must keep forgiveness like a blank cheque and deliver it instantly every time our mind recalls the bad past of others’ wrongdoings. Never recall the bad past, bury them in the deepest sea and forget. “You will cast all our sins into the depths of the sea.” [Micah 7:19]
Nowhere in the Bible it is said FORGIVE and FORGET but seventy times seven means FORGIVE till you FORGET, like a child. Unless you forget, forgiveness is incomplete.
Hate, Hater and Hated
HATE hates the HATER than the HATED. Hatred is like keeping a burning coal in your hand. You are the victim. It prevents all the graces from God reaching you, just like an umbrella prevents the rain drops from touching your body.
Bring before you, all the people you hate, one by one. For a moment, become their mother, immaterial of their gender and age. It becomes very easy to understand and forgive them this way. JUST FORGIVE NOW. Practice this exercise and see how perfectly peace sets in.
May God bless all of you to forgive others seventy times seven. Amen.
– – – written by Cecilia Francis