“Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft (often) shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times? Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven.”Matthew 18:21-22
I was heading into a week-long vacation, so I was busy trying to wrap up some things for work before I logged off. I still had some calls to make and some things to follow up on, and time seemed to be running out. I tasked my son to change out the batteries on our front door lock as I knew I would not have the time to do it after work. I was busy working when he came to me and asked if I could help him with the lock. I begrudgingly left my desk to go see how I could help him. I had not changed out those batteries in a long time, but I remembered that it was not as complicated as I had made it to be the first time I completed the task.
I got to the door and noticed he had taken the lock fully apart. It did not even look like a lock anymore but more like a miniature Star Wars character. I looked at it in its current state and could not make heads or tails of what it was. I remembered from the last time I changed the batteries that there were simply a couple of screws to remove, but none of this made sense now in the current state the lock was in. I grew frustrated as I had other things to do and I could not figure out the lock. I got mad at Nate and told him he needed to look it up on the computer for step-by-step instructions or go into the file cabinet to look for the original paperwork. He told me that he thought I knew how to do it since I had changed it out before, which only served to fuel my frustration towards him. I told him I was going back to work, and that we were leaving for a haircut in ten minutes, and that he needed to figure it out.
He did not figure it out, so I asked him if he had looked it up. He said he did not because he did not know what brand of lock it was. I told him there are only a few lock brands, and that he should look on the door and on the key of the lock to figure out the brand. I then ranted that kids know how to navigate social media, but don’t know how to look up basic things such as locks and figure out how to fix them. I told him the lock was a Qwikset, and I was not happy that he could not figure that out. As you can imagine, that rant did not go over too well with my son. On our way to the hair cut, he quickly looked it up and figured out how to change out the batteries and said he would take care of it as soon as we got home. I was taking my son to get his last hair cut before taking him to college, and I suddenly realized I was squandering the last moments I had with him. I knew I was wrong in how I had treated him and in what I said, so I put my hand on his knee and asked for forgiveness. As soon as I got the words out of my mouth, my son instantly asked for forgiveness for how he responded to me.
I forgave him as well and the world seemed right again. I did not hold a grudge and neither did he. We went on to get a hair cut and the offense was not brought up again. My son was quick to forgive me for my offense, and he practiced forgiving his dad 70×7 as I have sinned against him many times. God commands us to forgive our believing brothers and sisters, and this also includes relatives, spouses, friends, bosses and anyone else who offends you. It seems we are slow to ask for forgiveness and even slower to forgive. We forget what we have been forgiven of, and we forget the One who is the ultimate example of forgiveness. Jesus’ beard was plucked out and a crown of thorns was placed on His head. In the very midst of being crucified, the words He spoke were, “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.” Jesus is our example of how we are to forgive, fully and quickly.
How are you doing in the area of forgiveness? Is there someone you have a grudge against? Is there someone you avoid because you have grown bitter towards them? How is your relationship in the home? Are you quick to ask forgiveness and quick to forgive? Our lives would be a wreck if God forgave us as we forgive others. May we never get over the forgiveness of our sin, and may we not forget the example of our heavenly Father who forgave us completely. A simple home project can turn into an example of where we need to ask for forgiveness, and when we need to forgive. May we be willing to forgive the trespass of another, and may we ever give praise and thanks to the One who has forgiven us.