From Equilibrium: 31 Ways to Stay Balanced on Life’s Uneven Surfaces

In the prayer example Jesus offered, He included this as a request we should state:

 “And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.”  Matthew 6:12 

He presented the view that seems off balance but contains the steps toward true equilibrium, one where we aren’t controlled by the rocks and the hills around us:

“For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.” Matthew 6:14–15 

Like us, the follower of Jesus named Peter had a question. Jesus, in response, had an answer: 

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 

My math isn’t great but I don’t think Jesus wanted us to keep up with how many times we have forgiven someone so we can refuse to forgive them when they hit that number. I believe He was instructing Peter to stop keeping score. To keep on forgiving. To never ever stop forgiving. 

Jesus continued talking about that word, forgiveness. His statements indicate some connection to how we forgive with how we ourselves will be pardoned: 

“And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive them, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.” Mark 11:25 

“Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.” Luke 6:37 

We might as well keep this going. Here are two more texts to include, as we listen in on Paul’s instructions to his original audience and to us: 

Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. Ephesians 4:32 

Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. Colossians 3:13 

Those could be our ways of finding equilibrium. Be kind. Be compassionate. Forgive. And if you aren’t sure about how to forgive, choose to forgive as Jesus did. Bear with each other. If that is hard because of a grievance you have toward someone, forgive them. 

And again, if you need an example of how to forgive, forgive just as you are forgiven.