Fearless Inventory

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. ~ Matthew 18:21-22 & 34-35

It seems that the issue of forgiveness keeps coming up in the teachings of Jesus. We see it in the Lord’s Prayer. We hear it when a man is lowered in front of Jesus in a home for healing and Jesus forgives his sins. This time Simon Peter comes to Jesus and asks if forgiving someone seven times is adequate and Jesus says, not seven but seventy-seven times. Jesus then goes on and tells the story of an unmerciful servant who gets forgiven of much but is unwilling to forgive a fellow servant of just a little.

Jesus concludes the story with these words. The king who offered the initial forgiveness says to the unmerciful one: Shouldn’t you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you?’ In anger his master handed him over to the jailers to be tortured, until he should pay back all he owed. “This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother or sister from your heart.”

The last sentence, “This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother or sister from your heart.” Is the one that is my wake-up call. The one that creates the question: what did he say? What about grace and mercy for me? Where are they in this equation? Evidentially there is a boundary. A limit. A line that should not be crossed. So even if I don’t feel like it I ought to forgive. I ought to give the matter over to God. I should release it to him. I need to give Him the opportunity to handle the matter, instead of trying to enact my own justice.

In Celebrate Recovery there is a step four here you are encouraged to make a searching fearless moral inventory of your life. I try to do that daily. Before I go to sleep on most nights I try to remember to kneel and take a searching fearless moral inventory of anyone I may need to forgive. Of any amends that I may need to make. Of any sin that may have crept into my heart. And at the end of the day I try to remember to forgive myself as Christ has forgiven me. In Jesus name amen.