Matthew 18:21 Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?”
To borrow a response from Pastor David Langewisch, “Why do you ask?” I wonder what Peter was thinking when he posed this question? Was he tired of forgiving someone? Maybe one of the other disciples just kept blowing it? Or maybe Peter was trying to see if he’d used up all his get out of jail free cards? Or perhaps Peter was really asking, “What does forgiveness look like to you, Jesus?”
Is it really forgiveness if you are counting? One … Two … Three strikes … You’re out! How is that forgiveness? And how I am forgiven if I have to make sure that I don’t sin one too many times? Who draws the line that I just stepped over? The Law says how many times. The Gospel says always. The Law says how much. The Gospel says all you have. The Law says how often. The Gospel says daily.
If I draw the line in forgiveness, I must be willing and ready to live under that same Law. I, for one, would rather live under the Gospel. Therefore, I am to practice the Gospel on those around me. Is there someone in your life that you have drawn an artificial line with? One that they have stepped over? “How many times shall I forgive them?” … Always.