March 20, 2017 – Monday
Matthew 18:21-22 [NIV] 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.”
How is your forgiveness quotient?
In every workplace, there is no shortage of people who can do things or say things that hurt us on so many levels. You and I cannot control the bad behavior of others, but God gives us a choice on how to respond: our own way of getting even; Peter’s way of forgiving just a little; or Jesus’ way of forgiving as many times as it takes.
So, as you drink your morning coffee, don’t fantasize on how to take revenge and repay the suffering. Remember what Jesus said to Peter. Realize when you fail to forgive, you become a prisoner in a jail of your own making – reliving the pain every time you see or think about that coworker or boss. Know the first step to reconciliation is to give the hurt to the Lord and ask for God’s strength to forgive.
At the beginning of this workweek, reflect on your choice. How are you going to treat that extra-grace-required person? Are you “willing to be willing” to forgive countless times as it takes more than once to heal from the negative emotions? What path will you take? Your own? Peter’s? Or the path of your Lord?
As you go to work today, how is your forgiveness quotient? You and Peter are standing on the same mark. As with Peter, Jesus is standing right next to you.
And He, too, is asking, how is your forgiveness quotient? Is it high enough for Him?
Heavenly Father, please grant me the strength to forgive those who hurt me. Help me to be the good and faithful servant who recognizes that Jesus forgave my sins and calls upon me to do the same with others. In Your Son’s name, I pray. Amen.
Gary E. Roberts, Ph.D.
Professor and Director
Master of Public Administration Program
Robertson School of Government
Virginia Beach, Virginia USA