The story has been told of two children, Dan and Dorothy, with a big brother who teased them unmercifully. One Sunday they heard the story of Peter's question: "Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times?" Then they heard the Lord's reply, "I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven." Dan had been working out the sum, and he exclaimed: "Look, it's four hundred and ninety times!" The children were silent for a moment, then Dorothy said: "We'll keep a book, and put in it every time we forgive him." "Yes," Dan exclaimed eagerly, "and when it's 490, let him look out!"
Dan and Dorothy didn’t really get the idea of what Jesus was telling us about forgiveness. Jesus isn't telling us to forgive our brothers 490 times, or 70 times, or 77 times. He's telling us we should always forgive our brothers when they have sinned against us. God in heaven has forgiven us all of humanity's sins. How wrong it would be for us to deny our brothers and sisters a similar forgiveness for much lesser matters.
Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, "Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?" Jesus answered, "I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.
- Matthew 18:21-22 (New International Version)
Dear Lord, we thank you for forgiving us and we pray that we will always forgive those in our life. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.