Peter asked, ‘“How many times should I forgive someone who does something wrong to me? Is seven times enough?” Jesus answered: “Not just seven times, but seventy-seven times!”’ (Matthew 18:21-22 CEV). But we shouldn’t stop there. If God only gave us seventy-seven ‘forgiveness passes’, we’d be in trouble! We can’t bankrupt your ‘forgiveness account’ with God. But when we refuse to forgive others, we’re forgetting the fact that ‘You might be needing forgiveness before the day’s out’ (Galatians 6:1 MSG). The Message paraphrases Jesus’ words: ‘Forgive – only then will your heavenly Father be inclined to also wipe your slate clean’ (Mark 11:25 MSG). We’re all human, and when somebody hurts us, it’s natural that we’d want justice. But God wants us to forgive the person who’s hurt us before they ask for it or show any signs of remorse. That doesn’t mean they’ll escape the consequences of their actions, though. It just means we’re not responsible for making it happen – God is. Holding on to grudges is spiritually, emotionally and physically draining; forgiveness energises and frees us to move on. Remember that we’ve been forgiven ‘in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us’ (Ephesians 1:7-8 NIV). But it comes with the requirement that we forgive others, too! God forgives us for so many sins and wrongs. Let’s do the best we can to extend that grace to others. Annie Johnson Flint wrote: ‘His love has no limit, His grace has no measure, His power no boundary known unto men; For out of His infinite riches in Jesus, He giveth and giveth and giveth again.’ That really is lavish grace!