Answers

By   •   December 28, 2004

Q:

How many times does God expect us to forgive someone who hurts us? I have a friend who is constantly saying unkind things to me, and although she always apologizes later and asks me to forgive her, it isn't long before she's doing the same thing again.


A:

Some of Jesus’ disciples apparently had the same problem you do, and on one occasion one of them asked Jesus if he should forgive someone as many as seven times. Jesus replied, “I say not … seven times: but, Until seventy times seven” (Matthew 18:22, KJV).

What Jesus meant by this expression was that we ought to forgive others without limit. Why is this? The reason, Jesus went on to say, is because we should treat others the same way God has treated us. You see, we owe God a debt that is far greater than anything we could ever repay—a debt caused by our sin. But God in His grace has forgiven us anyway—not because we deserve it, but simply because of His love and mercy.

And once we have experienced God’s forgiveness and grace in our own lives, we should treat others the same way. No, they may not deserve it—but neither did we when God forgave us. The Bible says, “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you” (Ephesians 4:32).

Have you experienced God’s forgiveness in your own life? If not, or if you are unsure, ask Christ to come into your life and commit yourself to Him. Then pray for this person who hurts you, that she will realize her own need for God’s forgiveness and give her life to Jesus also. He will change her, just as He will you.

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One comment

  1. Thomas Magumise says:

    I benefitted abundantly from the articles on forgiveness and wished they were in my mother tongue so as to benefit my non-English understanding associates.