The School of Forgiveness is one that we seemingly find more than a tad difficult to get certified in. I suppose it’s because the measure to forgive will always distend beyond the last time we were able to. Meaning that the allowances we’re charged to make for ourselves — when we’re directly responsible for self transgressing — and for the transgressions of others also need to increase in capacity. No wonder why Jesus answered “70 x 7 — 490 times”… PER INDIVIDUAL!
“How many times do I have to forgive my fellow believer who keeps offending me? Seven times?” Jesus answered, “Not seven times, Peter, but seventy times seven times!” — Matthew 18:21b-22 TPT
The Bible doesn’t say this specifically, but I’d like to believe that this forgiveness quota applies daily. Because hey! His mercies are new every morning 🤷🏾♀️. So basically our forgiving someone 490 times a day means that by the next day, this person’s 490 forgivenesses are refreshed all over, to be credited and reflecting in the balance ledger of their forgiveness account.
So we enroll in this School of Forgiveness, we go through it — by relying on the forgiveness of our ever forgiving Father —, but we don’t let it go through us — we find it difficult to forgive 🤦🏾♀️. That’s like attending and going through all motions of an institution for the duration allocated, only to leave “in good standing but with no certificate or diploma or degree awarded” as the option we’d fill in the next life-level application form. That’s just sad and upsets me and my home girl because to make things worse, we don’t even exhaust the daily forgiveness allotment per individual! It’s like we forget how not being course certified can possibly impede our ability to take on certain responsibilities, climb corporate ladders or level up; especially because in the world’s system, top positions will always be marginalized compared to the sand count multitude of applicants. But Spiritually speaking and as a feature in the course module menu, the opposite of this principle applies. There are more top positions and less applicants.
“The harvest is [indeed] plentiful, but the workers are few.” — Matthew 9:37b AMP
What I’m trying to say is it’s pitiful how we overlook the importance of being certified in the School of Forgiveness. Because forgiveness — and finishing in good standing with a certificate, diploma and degree — is a prerequisite to unlocking life’s levels.
“Give us this day our daily bread — life’s essentials. And forgive us our debts — sins, moral failures —, as we have forgiven our debtors [letting go of both the wrong and the resentment].” — Matthew 6:11-12 AMP
On top of forgiveness being key to our being forgiven by our Father in Heaven, He also asks that we budget for others to wrong us. i.e. we ought to prepare ahead of time for others to transgress us, and remember that He made preparations ahead of creating us for us to transgress Him; He asks us to budget so we’d be better equipped to forgive others, just like He does us. This only makes sense, seeing as the word “forgive” is made up of 2 conjoining words, “fore” and “give”; fore meaning situated or placed in front, and give meaning to transfer or handover the possession of something to someone.
“Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others.” — Colossians 3:13 NLT
“Tolerate the weaknesses of those in the family of faith, forgiving one another in the same way you have been graciously forgiven by Jesus Christ. If you find fault with someone, release this same gift of forgiveness to them.” — Colossians 3:13 TPT
And if we say it’s impossible to budget for the wrong of others, riddle me what we think the 490 forgivenesses are supposed to be sitting in their balances for? I’ll wait.
While anyone tries to state their case to the above question, you know what needs more emphasis? It’s that even while we don’t merit forgiveness, and even in the midst of our sin, God fore and grace gives.
“But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” — Romans 5:8 NIV
He is more than able to grace give because His grace is super abundant, even more abundant than sin at its highest outbreak.
“But sin didn’t, and doesn’t, have a chance in competition with the aggressive forgiveness we call grace. When it’s sin versus grace, grace wins hands down. All sin can do is threaten us with death, and that’s the end of it. Grace, because God is putting everything together again through the Messiah, invites us into life—a life that goes on and on and on, world without end.” — Romans 5:20b – 21 MSG
So I guess it’s safe to conclude by posing this 2-part dissertation as a question I believe God sets for the School of Forgiveness finals:
If regardless of all the wrong we’ve done, God forgives us by grace, and even before we realize we need to turn from our ways; why then do we find it so difficult to fore and grace give others who’ve wronged us, whether they’re deserving of it or not? Do we not know our inability to forgive prevents us from doing the good things He planned for us long ago?
“Once you were dead because of your disobedience and your many sins. You used to live in sin, just like the rest of the world, obeying the devil—the commander of the powers in the unseen world. He is the spirit at work in the hearts of those who refuse to obey God. All of us used to live that way, following the passionate desires and inclinations of our sinful nature. By our very nature we were subject to God’s anger, just like everyone else. But God is so rich in mercy, and he loved us so much, that even though we were dead because of our sins, he gave us life when he raised Christ from the dead. (It is only by God’s grace that you have been saved!) For he raised us from the dead along with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ Jesus. So God can point to us in all future ages as examples of the incredible wealth of his grace and kindness toward us, as shown in all he has done for us who are united with Christ Jesus. God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it. For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.” — Ephesians 2:1-10 NLT