Over and Over
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 seventy-seven times." Matthew 18:21-22
When Peter asked Jesus how many times we should forgive others, I don't think he got the answer he was hoping for. Peter suggested 7. Jesus took that number and multiplied it by 77. By doing that Jesus wasn't giving a literal number. He wasn't suggesting that we count how many times someone hurts us and only forgive them the first 539 times. By answering the way he did, he was illustrating that we should forgive others over and over. That's not easy. Forgiving someone even once can be difficult! When someone hurts you there are relational consequences. Sin separates people, trust can be broken, friendships can fade. When we forgive someone we may not be able to reverse the earthly consequences of their sin or restore broken trust, but we can point them to the forgiveness they can find in Christ.