TODAY'S WORD 4U 2DAY
How many times should we forgive someone?‘If you, LORD, kept a record of sins…who could stand?’ Psalm 130:3 NIV
If God was only interested in right and wrong, He wouldn’t have wanted connection with us in the first place. God cares about more than principles. His first desire is relationship. Look at how He treats Peter in Matthew 18. First (we’re paraphrasing here), Peter asks Jesus, ‘how many times should I forgive someone? Is seven enough? After that, can I carry on hating them?’ Then Jesus replies, ‘There’s no limit. If you’re sincerely loving someone, you must keep your forgiveness generous and don’t put a limit on it.’ Peter wants to get back to judging people through a tight lens of right and wrong. But Jesus tells him to drop that lens and only look at people with love. It turns out that Peter needed that lesson. Just months later, Peter promised Jesus that he would be the most faithful disciple and never deny Jesus. But he does. Three times, he denies Jesus. And then what does Jesus do? He pursues his broken, dejected friend, and restores Him to relationship. Because Jesus’ first desire here was a restored relationship, not Peter being ‘religiously right’. Of course, the rules do exist, and how we behave matters to God. We can’t just do whatever we like, expecting God to overlook our wrongdoing. But if our first care goes to right relationships and real love, then we won’t spend our time obsessing over the ‘sin score cards’ and judging others. Our focus will be on forgiveness without limit, because we love people more than laws.
Picture someone who’s annoying you. See them before the throne of God, hand-in-hand with Jesus. Because of the cross, when the Father sees them, He sees Jesus.