Friday, March 4, 2011

Forgive and Forgive and Forgive

I heard this song on the radio a few days ago, and have just not been able to get it off my mind.  It's about forgiveness, and how we're called to forgive folks seven times seventy times.  We're supposed to forgive and forgive and forgive.

Sometimes forgiveness is easy.  A person says they're sorry.  You say, "I forgive you."  You move on.

Other times, not so much.  

For instance, maybe the person never says they're sorry.  They don't even admit they've done anything wrong.  Maybe they don't realize your perspective could be so different from their own, that you could be hurt by something they've thoughtlessly done or unintentionally done.  In these cases, mercy is tough. Forgiveness is hard.  And seven times seventy times?  That's quite a tall order.

I think especially of those friends and family members who have been wronged and never received an apology, who never had a hand extended to begin the mending of a relationship.  It would be almost impossible to forgive some of these offenses.  A brother who ran away and never spoke to the family again.  Parents who continually belittled and berated.  A husband who let addiction erode his loyalty to his family.  A stranger on drugs who crashed into an innocent family's car.  A father who lied and cheated and crumbled the trust his daughters will ever have in men.  A sister who harvested disaster and repeatedly left siblings to pick up the pieces.   A father who never paid child support.  Spouses who detached from marriages without ever giving it their all.  Children who endlessly took advantage of their parents' generosity.  I would not judge the victims of these offenses one bit if they never forgave the perpetrators, ever.

But one of the many mysteries of our nature is, that forgiveness is beautiful, and brings healing most to the one doing the forgiving.

So forgive and forgive and forgive.

And reap the many blessings that come from moving on.

What do you think about the idea of forgiving someone over and over and over?  Do you think it sets you up for being taken advantage of?

P.S.  If you're in a quiet place and don't want to play the video above, here are the lyrics for the chorus:

"7 times 70 times
I’ll do what it takes to make it right
I thought the pain was here to stay
But forgiveness made a way
7 times 70 times
There’s healing in the air tonight
I’m reaching up to pull it down
Gonna wrap it all around"

P.P.S. I'd like to think that I've never hurt anyone and not realized it. But I know that's likely impossible. For that reason, I really love the words of this prayer: "Forgive my transgressions, voluntary and involuntary, in word and deed, known and unknown."  


  1. This one made me cry like a baby at work! Forgiveness for those who wronged you as a child is impossible for me. I pray about this all of the time.

  2. Oh, no! Sorry to make you cry at work! This is a tough thing for so many people. The wonderful thing is that you get to give your kiddos a beautiful childhood that will be so different, because you're cognizant of that hurt. Anyway, sending hugs!