Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times? Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.”
– Matthew 18.21-22, NIV

“In our own case we accept excuses too easily; in other people’s we do not accept them easily enough.”
– C. S. Lewis, “On Forgiveness,” The Weight of Glory

Husband and wife, parent and child, Brother or Sister in the Lord; no matter the relationship, there will come a time when we will be asked to forgive a wrong done to us. We may do so willingly the first time or two, but, what about the fifth time? Or the fifteenth time? Or the fiftieth time? Do we get tired of the apologies, or is there a time when our forgiveness fountain runs dry?

In Matthew, Peter’s query to Jesus is his way of asking permission to refuse to accept the excuses of others if they trespass against him too many times. Peter wants to run out the clock on grace. Notice however, that Peter does not consider whether that same clock should run out on him. Jesus reminds Peter, and us as well, that there is no maximum amount of grace. Indeed God’s “mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning” (Lamentations 3.22).

Therefore, when we are tempted to believe that we have had enough of other people’s excuses, let us remember just how much and how long God has heard and accepted ours. Psalm 103.12 states, “As far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.”

Prayer: Lord, thank you for the in nite number of times you forgive us. Help us to do the same for our brothers and sisters in Christ. Amen.

Written By: Professor Tracey Anderson-Tellado

This is day 1 of a devotional written by Stark College & Seminary students and professors in Dr. Doug Jackson’s C.S. Lewis class during the Spring of 2018. In the words of Dr. Jackson, “These devotionals are the smoke and scent sparked by prayerful encounters with the writings of perhaps the most beloved Christian author of the twentieth century.”