Thoughts for the Day

Thursday, 11th August 2022: How many times to forgive others

Forgiveness Loving one another Matthew 18 Jesus

Reading : Verses from Matthew, Chapter 18


Then Peter came and said to Jesus, ‘Lord, if another member of the church sins against me, how often should I forgive? As many as seven times?’ Jesus said to him, ‘Not seven times, but, I tell you, seventy-seven times'.

(Church in Wales Lectionary, New Revised Standard Version)


Today's reading is a tiny conversation that Peter has with Jesus, and is followed by the parable of the Unforgiving Servant (Matthew 18.23-35), as Jesus explores what forgiveness means in story-form. So let us explore what it means to ask and receive forgiveness.

A few week's ago I watched an old film where a child was constantly forced to apologise for apparently playing a series of rather nasty practical jokes on the others in the house. Those watching could see that the boy had not carried out these episodes, but was pushed by his mother into apologising to the others again and again. For the sake of peace he obliges, but he is forced into being humble and seeking forgiveness from the adults present who are furious with him. Of course this is not a true confession!

For Jesus, a confession must be really honest, and the forgiveness is then absolute, again and again and again. The reason for this is that our Heavenly Father forgives us every time we truly confess our sin - he never with-holds His absolution. Because of this, we too must always offer forgiveness to another who wrongs us.


Heavenly Father,
help us to learn from You
what true forgiveness is,
and to remember that You
have always forgiven us
throughout our life.
May we learn to forgive others
however they have hurt us,
and no matter how hard this may be.

Follow Up Thoughts

You might like to look at this blog for students on forgiveness - it's good:

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