How Many Times

How many times Lord?
How often?
How long for?

Do I have to forgive?

But they’ve done me wrong,
cheated me,
hurt me.

Surely they have to pay?

But then the penny drops.
How much have you forgiven me?
How often?
How many times?

You forgive me,
lift my burden from me,
allow me to walk away,
with the weight lifted,
the blame gone.

Surely that
is how I should treat others.

To pay back what I owe you,
in freeing others,
lifting their weight,
setting them free.

Not once,
twice,
seven
or even seventy
times.

But forever
and always.
Without counting the cost
or the number of times.

And as I forgive,
I find myself freed anew,
freed from the burden of
holding tight
and counting

Forgive me Lord,
when I have clung to grudges,
or felt I have been over-generous.
Yours is the generosity Lord,
I long to live in it
and share it.

Forgiving By scem.info CC-BY-SA-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)

Matthew 18:21-35 (CEV)

An Official Who Refused To Forgive

21 Peter came up to the Lord and asked, “How many times should I forgive someone[a] who does something wrong to me? Is seven times enough?”

22 Jesus answered:

Not just seven times, but seventy-seven times! 23 This story will show you what the kingdom of heaven is like:

One day a king decided to call in his officials and ask them to give an account of what they owed him. 24 As he was doing this, one official was brought in who owed him fifty million silver coins. 25 But he didn’t have any money to pay what he owed. The king ordered him to be sold, along with his wife and children and all he owned, in order to pay the debt.

26 The official got down on his knees and began begging, “Have pity on me, and I will pay you every cent I owe!”27 The king felt sorry for him and let him go free. He even told the official that he did not have to pay back the money.

28 As the official was leaving, he happened to meet another official, who owed him a hundred silver coins. So he grabbed the man by the throat. He started choking him and said, “Pay me what you owe!”

29 The man got down on his knees and began begging, “Have pity on me, and I will pay you back.” 30 But the first official refused to have pity. Instead, he went and had the other official put in jail until he could pay what he owed.

31 When some other officials found out what had happened, they felt sorry for the man who had been put in jail. Then they told the king what had happened. 32 The king called the first official back in and said, “You’re an evil man! When you begged for mercy, I said you did not have to pay back a cent. 33 Don’t you think you should show pity to someone else, as I did to you?” 34 The king was so angry that he ordered the official to be tortured until he could pay back everything he owed. 35 That is how my Father in heaven will treat you, if you don’t forgive each of my followers with all your heart.

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