Forgiveness is possibly the most difficult issue, not only in the church, but in every sense of the word. Within our churches it should not be a difficult word to assimilate, since Christianity is about forgiveness. Before answering how we learn to forgive, we must understand why we should forgive.
We must forgive because Christ forgave us, and forgave us even seeing that condition of terrible sinners. The forgiveness of our Lord had no condition, and this is proof of why we should forgive our brothers. We ask: If Christ forgave our terrible sins, why not forgive our brothers?
For Jesus, forgiveness was vital in the life of a believer, and He taught this and wanted the people to receive that teaching well:
21 Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times?
22 Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven.
This is a magnificent response that forgiveness has no limits. Let’s not take literally the expression “seventy times seven” (70 x 7 = 490). It is not that we will be writing down the number of times we forgive and when we reach that number we can stop forgiving. What Jesus implies here is that forgiveness has no limits, we must forgive as many times as necessary.
Beloved brothers, the key to forgiving is to understand how Christ forgave us as terrible sinners.