UV 2268/10000 Just One More Time
Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven
Matthew 18 v 22
Jesus in the words of this uni-verse is not asking us to keep a count of the number of times we have forgiven someone or that we can stop forgiving the 490th time. He is telling us that there is no limit on the number of times we are to forgive someone. Every time we forgive someone, be prepared to forgive him just one more time. Should he err in some way and again offend us, we should forgive him just one more time. Each time we can hope that he will not offend us again but knowing human nature and our own tendency to err over and over again in the same way, we should brace ourselves to forgive him just one more time.
Jesus, the Master Psychologist and expert in human relations that He is, knows that much of the bitterness in our lives comes from our inability to forgive people for real or imagined offences repeatedly and the inability of people to break character traits and habits. If we just follow this principle of “forgive just one more time”, we can avoid a lot of the personal misery , anger and bitterness we encounter in our relationships particularly with people in our close circles both at home and at work. Most marriages would be saved. Relationships between brothers and sisters would be renewed each time we forgive. Family ties would be strong and unbreakable.
Very often when we repeat the words of the Lord, “forgive us as we forgive others”, we secretly desire that we be forgiven much more than we forgive others. But the measure of the Lord’s forgiveness matches the yardstick and standard of forgiveness we practice in our daily lives. The Lord does not want us to take His mercy and forgiveness for granted. We cannot be harsh in our judgement of others while expecting kindness and compassion for ourselves. We are not practicing even double standards but multiple standards, depending on the person who we are relating to. Only when we realize the infinite compassion of the Lord and the countless times He has forgiven us, we will cease to keep a record of the wrongs, real or perceived, that others have done to us. Forgiveness releases us from the burden of carrying bad memories. Every time we relate to a person, it will be with a fresh slate. We will not hold the writing of his past misdeeds against him. Having said that, we need to always leave the impression with the other person that this would be the last time we forgive him so that we are not re-victimised in any way.
Prateep V Philip