So, as we consider the whole idea of forgiveness, it might be worth it to look at why God is so much better at it than humans are. After all, God forgives you and me every time we ask Him to. He forgives and then He lets the errors of our ways go, so neither of us have to think about them again. Of course, we still think about our sins and offenses, even if God doesn’t. Jesus said believers have to actually forgive each other at least 490 times. 490 times! Of course, most of us don’t carry a check list around to see if our offenders have exceeded their limit or not, but my musing today is about what it takes to truly forgive someone, over just kinda forgiving someone. The difference here is that partial forgiveness means we’re still holding on to the offense. The offense gives us a story to tell, so people sympathize with us. If we’ve already forgiven the person who mistreated us, or we don’t remember the offense, then we don’t have a good story to tell. But is that worth the sorrow it really causes?

One of the examples I appreciate from Jesus is that He often healed people by saying, “your sins are forgiven.” That is a bit puzzling because needing forgiveness doesn’t seem like the same thing as needing healing, or is it? What if our need to forgive, or our need to be forgiven is working against us? What if we have allowed memories to haunt us to the place where every time we go through them again, the hurt persists like an ulcer just eating away at us? 

Bitterness is a root that likes to be fed, that wants us to remember our pain. Bitterness carves a hole in the soul that weakens everything else about the body, blinding the heart and mind against any positive response. Yes, forgiveness for the bitterness and sorrow we carry around needs healing. When Jesus forgives us, He does so once and for all. He doesn’t hold anything back. That’s good, because every offense we’ve ever done to another human being, is really an offense we’ve committed against Jesus. That means only HIs forgiveness, His love, can heal us and give us a chance to move on. 

Human beings are equal opportunity offenders, but we are seldom equal opportunity forgivers. Perhaps today is a good time to seek God’s help in any area where forgiveness comes into play. You’ve sinned against others, they’ve sinned against you, and only God can work in your heart to find the peace that real forgiveness brings. Is it seventy times seven? Or is it seven hundred seventy times seven? 

The good news is that God doesn’t count all your sins.  He just wants you to have Jesus in your heart, mind, and soul. With Christ, you are totally healed, totally forgiven, and totally loved. 

There’s nothing kinda, sorta, about that!