February 26, 2008
“…Then Peter asked him, ‘Lord, how many times must I forgive the offenses of my brother? Seven times?’…” (Matthew 18:21)
Britney Spears’ hit song, “Oops, I did it again!” may have been an appropriate background music when Peter asked Jesus the question above.
Most likely, Peter had someone in mind at that time. Someone who did something detrimental to him over and over again. Perhaps another apostle who may have been a constant irritant. Or some relative in the past who may have slandered him occasionally. Or some officemate, a fellow fisherman perhaps, who regularly stole from his catch of fish.
Maybe you have someone like that in your life.
A drug addicted relative whom you may have bailed out from jail almost regularly.
An employee who can’t seem to follow your instructions no matter how many times you tell him.
A son who constantly falls into trouble.
I have my own list of people in mind. In my life, I have encountered people whom I don’t think deserves another chance. They lie. They can’t follow through. They can’t fulfill commitments. And often, I have always been tempted to give up on them. Until I see myself on the mirror…
There, before me stands someone who also does not deserve another chance. Somebody who often breaks his word. Somebody who constantly fails in his commitments. Somebody who can’t seem to be consistent. Somebody who finds it hard to walk his talk.
And yet he is forgiven again and again and again.
Only then do I shrug my shoulders and breath a sigh. How could I not forgive my fellow men if I am constantly forgiven by God?
Why don’t you do that now? Think of the person you hate the most. Then stand in front of the mirror. And remember how much that man (or woman) you see is loved and forgiven by God. Chances are, you will find the grace to forgive.
Thanks to mirrors. They reflect to you what you ought to reflect to others: “Forgiveness seventy times seven”.
Have a blessed day!
I remain, your friend in Christ,