Some of you know about mine and Calvin’s 24-hour rule. When we got married, part of our vows were based on 1 Corinthians 13. In that chapter, the Bible tells us that love keeps no record of wrongdoings. So, if Calvin or I are upset with each other about something, we talk about it that day – get out all of our disappointments, frustrations, or anger. But, once the day is over, so is the argument. We have an agreement that we don’t bring up past mistakes or points of contention later on. What’s done is done, so we move forward.
But instead of approving of this, Jesus actually raises the stakes and tells Peter to forgive "not seven times, but seventy-seven times." I can almost see Peter's jaw dropping. Jesus is getting the point across: "It's not a numbers game." It's a heart issue, not a math problem. It's not about marking something off of a checklist; it's about living a lifestyle of love and grace.
The problem with this is that when you keep score in a relationship, everyone loses. As followers of Christ, we're not called just to forgive when it's convenient and fair. We're called to live in forgiveness. And it isn't just a good idea or some helpful advice; it's foundational.