Matthew 18:21-22, NASB: Then Peter came and said to Him, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him? Up to seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.

He carried His cross to the place where He would give His life. Along the way, Jesus--the Lord of Lords and King of Kings; God’s Salvation for the world--was spat on and cursed; but He did not even become angry toward those who persecuted Him. Instead, He loved them. Though they did not understand Him, He showed understanding. From cradle to cross He demonstrated the grace of God which echoed in His words, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” This kind of forgiveness is something the Lord wants echoed in the lives of His followers. Any cross we have to carry fails greatly in comparison to His. True as that is, forgiveness can be one of the most difficult things to give--especially when we feel we have been hurt or treated unfairly. To not forgive is to open the door to resentment, bitterness, and anger. We must be careful, therefore, that we do not deceive ourselves; thinking we have forgiven when we have not. Sweeping a matter under the rug, or showing kindness to someone when your animosity seethes below the surface, is not forgiveness. “With God, all things are possible.” He can help you to truly forgive even within the most difficult of circumstances. Forgiveness is not something that is always earned, but Christ commands us that it must be always given.