“When Peter came and said to Him, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him? Up to seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.” Matthew 18:21-22
What is the attitude of your heart when you approach God?
Do you come with preconceived ideas as Peter did?
Well – that’s something we just naturally do. Peter’s idea was a good one, and he was seeking Jesus’ approval, encouragement, and validation.
Jesus replied: — New – Better – Way
This is God’s example for all of us to follow. If we want to grow spiritually, we must daily test our knowledge and beliefs up against God’s eternal truth. Then change old ways of thinking over to Jesus’ new ways of the Spirit.
And know that God most likely sees us similarly to Peter here.
It’s unlikely Peter had any idea of how important this question of forgiveness was to Jesus, and to both you and I as well. This is not only about God’s eternal forgiveness, but it’s also about how we relate daily with God and others.
Jesus wants us to have a mindset that always forgives others, and have a never-ending forgiveness for others. A most important lesson.
But we can learn so much more. We all come to God consciously and unconsciously with minds filled with ideas and conclusions. These are the old ways of life. Often they do not measure up to the new ways of the Spirit that God has planned for us. And we must always remember; “the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.”
Consider here – many are quick to say about someone who lies or sins against them “I can forgive him, but I will never forget” Think about that. If my friend lies or cheats me, am I willing to forgive him seven times like Peter suggested? How many Christians do you know that would forgive you seven times for cheating them?
But wait you might say; “People will take advantage of me.” And God’s response might be; “You mean like people do to me every day? This is about my love for you and my forgiveness of you. And not about what others might do or not do.” And this is how you can know with absolute certainty God Always forgives you.
God’s forgiveness of you is FOREVER.
Now forgive like God forgives – not like mere men.
In reality, Peter’s forgiveness seems more than fair, right? But if we are putting on the mind of Christ, we must think like Jesus thinks, not as mere men. Otherwise we will mislead others with our old ways. And that’s hypocritical.
It’s impossible to erase memories, but remember; “with God all things are possible.” Believe God. “We are no longer to be conformed to this world; but be transformed by the renewing of our minds.” What is someone really saying here? – “I will forgive you, but I can never forget?” — “I’m holding this against you. I’m hurt. I’ll internalize this. I’m bitter. I’ve labeled you. I don’t trust you” God does none of that.
They are offering you conditional forgiveness. But as Christians, God’s new way is our way. And His way is unconditional. This must be our new mindset towards others.
“As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us. Just as a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear Him.” Psalm 103:12-13 And as we walk In His Steps, our hope and prayer is that others will see Jesus and His forgiveness and compassion in our daily walk.
Now, are you ready and willing to test that which you currently think is true?
Where to begin? How about the beginning?
“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” Genesis 1:1
“All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being.” John 1:3
What three spiritual truths do you see here?
Do you unconditionally believe God’s eternal truth?
Are you still conformed to the old worldly thinking?
Or has your thinking been transformed to the Mind of Christ?
For as high as the heavens are above.
Great is the measure of our father’s love.
Grace and Peace to you my friends, Bob West ©