How many times do we forgive?
But then, I realized something.
How many times do we actually forgive someone in our day to day life? How many times can someone come up to you (or me) asking forgiveness for the SAME thing, before we write that person off as not worth our time anymore?
I think if you look back on reality, you'll see it's about three times. That's about as tolerant as we get - no seriously, don't get defensive, look at how we each really react to each other. After three times we proverbially wipe our hands of that person. This is the point where some of us put up those memes about there being a point beyond which someone just can no longer be tolerated, or we make a long Facebook post about people taking advantage of us, or misusing us and how we just don't have time for that sort of people.
Guess what? We're all Pharisees.
Peter said seven times...do I forgive seven times...and we laugh again. Yet in reality, Peter was pushing it beyond where most of us would draw the line, and I'm telling you, seven times forgiving the same offense? It's way beyond what most of us would ever be willing to do.
Now remember, forgiving someone doesn't mean putting it in the back of your mind and ignoring it. That's where fungus grows - in a warm dark spot where you try to ignore it. That's not where forgiveness grows.
If you're still thinking about it, stewing over it...counting it...then you have not forgiven. If that offense is brought up in your presence, and it immediately throws you into a bad mood, or brings all of it back up in your heart again, then you have not forgiven. No, you haven't. You've buried it. Not the same as forgiving. An unforgiven offense will resurrect itself over and over again, like a recurring character in The Walking Dead.
So looking at myself realistically, we don't even do as good as the Pharisees did, much less what Peter tried to say. I daresay none of us come close to attaining Jesus' standard - of 70 times 7...for the same offense, mind you.
Remember, true forgiveness means NOT washing your hands of the person who has offended you. In the very least, you can pray for them.
So today, just starting with today, forgive until you lose count.
Forgive like it was the first time.
Forgive like it'll be the last time you'll need to forgive it.