WHEN PETER ASKED JESUS if he should forgive others as many as seven times, Jesus answered, “Not seven times, but, I tell you, seventy-seven times” (Matthew 18:22). Obviously he was not saying mark off each forgiveness up to seventy-seven and then stop forgiving. He was wiping out all calculated response both to ourselves and to others. He threw a legalism of checks and balances out the window. He invited us to a wider place, a freer air, where compassion and mercy are no longer a matter of arithmetic.
But until we let God release us, we cannot release ourselves or others. We remain in that condition of self-judgment, a judgment of others, that spiritual prison, anxiously counting up those pennies!
God longs to enter these prisons of ours, throw open the doors, bring us into what theologians call “grace” – the realm of free gifting – not to earn love but because we are already loved.
– Flora Slosson Wuellner
Forgiveness, the Passionate Journey
From page 117 of Forgiveness, the Passionate Journey: Nine Steps of Forgiving Through Jesus’ Beatitudes by Flora Slosson Wuellner. Copyright © 2001 by Flora Slosson Wuellner. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Upper Room Books http://bookstore.upperroom.org/ Learn more about or purchase this book.
Give thanks for God’s grace. Share your thoughts.
On the day after the passover, on that very day, they ate the produce of the land, unleavened cakes and parched grain.
The manna ceased on the day they ate the produce of the land, and the Israelites no longer had manna; they ate the crops of the land of Canaan that year.
Joshua 5:11-12, NRSV
This Week: pray for caregivers. Submit your prayer to The Upper Room Living Prayer Center or share it in the comment section below.
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This week we remember: Katherine Drexel (March 3).
(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)
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