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It is not a one-and-done decision; it is something with which we must continually wrestle and seek to go deeper. The fact that Linda Biehl could sit at peace with a man who killed her daughter does not mean she did not need to work to get there, or even to stay there.


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It also, by the way, does not mean she no longer felt annoyed with trivial offenses, like drivers cutting her off in traffic. Like a climbing wall that occasionally requires a step backward to move forward, forgiveness is not a straight path. Sometimes we tell someone all is forgiven without meaning it or discover ill will we thought we had released but still must address.

It is in these moments that we must remember an oft-overlooked aspect of absolution: forgiveness of self. It is hard to imagine having the freedom to let go of another's mistakes if we have set the bar unreasonably high above our own heads. Once again, none of this easy. Forgiveness requires room for error, and when we reflect on Jesus' desire for us to forgive seventy times seven times, the focus tends to be on just that: God's boundless generosity in the face of our shortcomings.

On the other hand, maybe Jesus' seventy-times-seven solution is also an indication that forgiveness involves practice, that we probably will not get it exactly right the first time or even after attempts.

When we do fail in our efforts, having the example of the one who is always ready to absolve will surely help us in what I have come to see as the true secret of forgiveness: trying again. His work is available at www. Send your thoughts and reactions to Letters to the Editor. Learn more here. Join now. Blog Young Voices.

Matthew NASB - Forgiveness - Then Peter came and said - Bible Gateway

Forgiveness goes above and beyond seventy-times-seven pardons. Jan 22, Join the Conversation Send your thoughts and reactions to Letters to the Editor. Enter your email address to receive free newsletters from NCR. Email address.

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Spirituality Forgiveness goes above and beyond seventy-times-seven pardons. Most Recent Francis, cardinals urge Amazon synod to consider new ideas, including married priests Oct 7, Copy Desk Daily, Oct. Cardinal Turkson reminds Irish religious and missionaries of spiritual, social connection Oct 7, Lecture presents the quintessential conservative Catholic worldview Oct 7, Amid Brexit, Europe's church navigates competing perspectives over the future Oct 7, A time of hope for social leaders of Oaxaca Archdiocese Oct 7, Oaxaca Archdiocese's new Social Pastoral School goes beyond charity toward community change Oct 7, The Good Neighbor Oct 6, Quick Reads On feast of St.

Francis, pope joins Amazonians to plant tree at Vatican Oct 4, NZ bishop resigns over 'unacceptable' sexual relationship Oct 4, Court urged to hear Louisiana, Indiana abortion cases and overturn Roe Oct 4, Pope signs decrees in causes for St. John Paul's mentor, two martyrs Oct 3, Violence on Amazonian border puts indigenous at risk, say church workers Oct 3, Justice Department backs Indianapolis Archdiocese in fired teacher's suit Oct 3, At retreat for South Sudan leaders, pope literally begs for peace Apr 11, He decided to keep track on a piece of paper how often he forgave a certain person.

Eventually, he gave up and decided that he would just forgive him and be done with it. I think this is exactly what Jesus meant by what He said. At the very least, they want the gratification of seeing the offender begging for their forgiveness. But Jesus forgave His executioners before they stopped killing Him.

Some years ago, in one of the western States, a man drove across the median of a four-lane highway. He swerved in front of a pickup coming the other way, and they crashed, head on. But five children were killed in the other vehicle.

Real Christians forgive like Jesus

Their father was seriously injured. A lot of people were very upset at the driver, but the father and mother of the five children decided that they would publicly forgive the man. One can only imagine the heart-wrenching experience this was for them. But they decided to respond like Jesus did. If you want another illustration of someone else forgiving like Jesus did, read the story of Stephen in the Bible, in Acts For more thoughts on this, read Matthew and Romans We welcome your questions or comments and will answer them as time allows.

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Seventy Times Seven: Stories and Thoughts about Christian Forgiving

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