Kids Korner: Jesus asks us to forgive (September 12th)

Read Matthew 18:21-35 with your family. Forgiving others is hard, especially if they really hurt you deeply.

Sometimes people say “Forgive and forget”, but that isn’t in the Bible, and that’s not what Jesus said. (‘Forget and forgive’ comes from the play King Lear in the 1600’s, and the novel Don Quixote in the 1700’s.) We are not asked to forget, because sometimes when we are hurt that becomes a learning experience for us. Jesus did not tell us to forget our hurts.

Instead, Jesus said forgive others 70×7. Seven in the Hebrew culture was the number of completion, of perfection (i.e. God made the world in seven days), so those sitting with Jesus would understand why Peter and Jesus picked that number specifically. And because Jesus said 70×7, we should understand that as never ending, not 490 times.

Forgiveness is how we get rid of our hurt because carrying that hurt makes us angry and cranky, and that’s not who God wants us to be. So every time we are reminded of that hurt, we have to choose to forgive the person again. Even if we remember 70 times a day, each time we have to make the choice to forgive. Over time it gets better.

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