"The outer edge of forgiveness"

A few weeks ago, my wife Miska and I were deep into an intense conversation, tasting the bitter fruit of a disconnected season. Sitting on the couch, we shared our hurts and hopes, our desire for more in our marriage. As we talked about what had led us to this place and where to go from here, Miska said, "I need to forgive you." It's hard to convey the impact of her godly decision as I try to capture that moment in words. But something was released in her, and in me, as I realized that I too needed to forgive.

Forgiveness holds an unparalleled power to heal and to restore, to melt hardened hearts. Forgiveness, however, seldom comes easy. Peter apparently felt the weight of forgiveness' demands, asking Jesus to clarify how far, exactly, forgiveness should go. Do I have to forgive "seven times"? Peter asked (v.21). "No," said Jesus, "seventy times seven" (v.22).

Peter wanted to discern the outer boundaries of his responsibility, the point where he could say: No more forgiveness. But Jesus would have none of it. While we may want to rest easy with our bitterness or rage, God calls us out of all that. God calls us to forgive.

Sometimes we balk at forgiveness because we misunderstand what it is. We wrongly think that forgiveness means denying the wrong and painful thing done to us. Often, however, we resist forgiveness because we simply don't want to let someone off the hook.

This might seem like an impossible act: Offer lavish forgiveness to the repentant offender. Instead, it's beautiful news that reveals what God is like and what "the kingdom of heaven can be compared to" (v.23). God lavishes His unquenchable forgiveness on us, reaching the darkest places of our heart. , Winn Collier, Our Daily Journey CLICK HERE to visit OurDailyJourney.org