“Forgive seventy times seven.” Matthew 18: 22. There are many times in scripture that what I read disturbs me. When I first read, Jesus wants me to forgive others infinitely, continually and completely, I think to myself, I can’t do it. This is impossible! Then I remember that Jesus doesn’t tell us to do anything that he doesn’t do himself. The greatest danger to my fellowship with Christ is when I sin and must ask him to forgive me for something I have asked forgiveness for time and time again. When this occurs I am so ashamed. Thoughts come to me that he will not forgive, that there is a limit. He is so holy. He is righteous. He is perfect. He also is love and he is merciful. “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sin and purify us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1: 9.
Another danger is if I do not forgive. After Jesus tells Peter to forgive seventy times seven he tells the parable about the unmerciful servant. The servant after being forgiven a large sum of money by his master did not forgive a small amount that was owed to him. The master finds out and “in anger turned him over to the jailers to be tortured.” Matthew 18: 34. I have been in that prison, the prison of anger, bitterness and resentment. There is no happiness or joy in that place. Jesus paid a heavy price so that we may be forgiven. He “being the very nature of God”, “made himself nothing, and taking the very nature of a servant.” “He humbled himself and became obedient to death even death on a cross!” Philippians 2: 6, 7, 8. Torture. To not forgive shows us as insincere and ungrateful for what He did.