Jesus tells us in the Gospel that we are to forgive Seventy times Seven times.
I always hated math.
The truth of this scripture passage has nothing whatsoever to do with numbers though, it has to do with our being willing to be forgiving as God forgives.
This is a recurring theme in scripture, and one that I keep being reminded of, because I tend to hold on to unforgiveness.
My friend Suzanne and I were deep into a session of venting yesterday afternoon. I thought it was actually good for me to get out how much hurt I had felt for years by a particular person, and then I was relating a new hurt that my daughter had suffered by the inattention of someone who was supposed to have her best interest at heart, but didn't really seem to care.
At the time it felt like righteous indignation, and I felt justified in my feelings, but as I thought about it more that evening, and apparently Suzanne was thinking about the same thing, I came to the conclusion that my holding on to feelings of unforgiveness are only hurting me, and in the face of what I have asked God to forgive me for, how can I not forgive those who have wronged me?
In fact when Jesus teaches about the Lord's Prayer the only thing he clarifies is that the extent by which we are able to forgive is the extent by which God will be able to forgive us.
I have a lot of work to do on that score. Thanks Suzanne for reminding me that forgiveness is for me, not for the one who has wronged me.