One day, Peter asked Jesus how far he should go in applying the principle of forgiveness (Matthew 18:21–35). Once? Of course. Peter had heard that lesson enough times to know. But what if the offense continued? Should he forgive a second or third time? From his point of view, more than three would be absurd, so he suggested seven times, thinking Jesus would give him the correct, smaller number.
In answering, “Forty-nine times,” Jesus was saying Peter should always forgive. But how in the world could that be reasonable? Jesus told a story to show how God’s forgiveness will be taken away if we don’t forgive others. He said, “My heavenly Father will deal with you in the same way if you fail to forgive others for the wrongs they have done to you.”
If justice is what we want, then we should leave the punishment to God, because he’s much better in that area than we are, which is why God says, “Vengeance is mine. I will repay” (Romans 12:19).
If we think forgiveness is saying the offense was okay, we need to understand that forgiveness is not the same as forgetting. Sin is sin, and it’s not okay. Never has been. Never will be. Not forgetting means we may need to leave an abusive relationship. Forgiveness recognizes the offense, but says, “I am not going to punish you for how you have offended me.”
Although forgiveness may not seem reasonable to us, haven’t Jesus’ words told us that forgiveness is always right?

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