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Finite Forgiveness


But 7 x 70 isn’t infinite.

That’s the response I gave to a friend of mine as we talked about forgiveness.

Am I completely missing the point? Probably. But I’ve grown weary of forgiveness. I’ve grown weary of saying yes to love while I’m being punched in the stomach.

It’s a hard thing to do, to continue loving someone in the midst of their continual betrayal. To love them, and forgive them even more than 490 times.

Sometimes, I like to go to the internet and see what ‘answers’ show up on yahoo or the like, so I typed in 7 x70. Do you know what the answer said? That Jesus required of us to forgive even more than was ever possible to offend. While I understand what the responder was saying, here’s the thing: The number of offenses against me were that high. Probably double or triple.

It’s not infinite. I don’t think that means that I can get away with forgiving 490 times and then stopping. I really don’t. I think it means that I have a Savior who has to forgive me so much more than that, and 490 is just a start. I have to say though, sometimes, in some of my darker days, I want it to be finite. I want forgiveness to be finite. But not my forgiveness.

And there’s the rub. I’m so much more willing to be forgiven than to forgive. Because I know I will hurt God somewhere along the lines of 490 times this month. Maybe even this week.

Growing weary, wanting to stop, I am reminded that Jesus forgave infinitely more on the cross. Infinitely. And so I keep forgiving, no matter how far it takes me beyond 7×70.


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