Where Do We Draw the Line?
Then Peter came to Him and said, "Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven times?" Matthew 18:21 (NKJV)
How many times should we forgive someone? That's the heart behind Peter's question, and it's something that each of us wrestles with as well. Where do we draw the line of forgiveness when it comes to someone wronging us?
What if someone cuts us off in traffic? What if someone slanders us? What if someone breaks into our house and steals something very valuable to us? Or what if someone hurts or even takes the life of a loved one? Where do we draw the line of forgiveness?
Jesus answers Peter—and us—through a parable. It tells of a man who was forgiven an incredible debt that he never could have repaid. But the same man showed no mercy towards someone else who owed him a comparatively small amount. Word got out, and the man who failed to forgive was punished (Matthew 18:22-35). The lesson is that those who've received great forgiveness should also extend forgiveness.
At the cross, we received great forgiveness from God. The debt of our sin was cancelled and forgiven at the personal expense of God's own Son. When we truly recognize this, when we see the great forgiveness God has poured out on us, it enables us to extend forgiveness to others. We understand that what they've done to us can't compare to what we've done to Christ.
Where do we draw the line of forgiveness? We don't. The cross is God's unconditional standard of forgiveness that we must constantly keep in view. He didn't draw the line when we wronged Him, and we've no right to draw any lines when others wrong us.
Think about it…
What does this passage reveal to me about God?
What does this passage reveal to me about myself?
Based on this, what changes do I need to make?
What is my prayer for today?