Pay attention to yourselves! If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him, and if he sins against you seven times in the day, and turns to you seven times, saying, ‘I repent,’ you must forgive him.
Jesus sets a very high standard for reconciliation. The standard for forgiveness is nothing less than Jesus Himself. Who is it that is sinned against seven times a day if not Jesus? And who graciously forgives me when I sin against Him so very much? It is Jesus.
I am called to be like my Lord in all things. And when I am sinned against and the offender repents, I am to be instantly ready with forgiveness. And that is the heart Jesus wants me to have. I must however, as Jesus commands: "Pay attention to myself"! This is intentional. My default sinful settings are to punish those who sin against me, even if they ask for forgiveness. My self wants retribution. Jesus wants me to be a quick forgiver. This can only come by His grace changing me as I pay close attention to myself and choose to be the kind of forgiving person that Jesus is.
I confess to You my need to pay close attention to my heart when it comes to being a forgiver. My flesh wants to harbor grudges and to punish others. But I am a hypocrite because I fall down in repentance more than seven times a day with You! Help me to forgive like You do. Help me not to be bitter over how I was sinned against in my yesterdays so that today I can forgive with hope that You will make me (and my brother or sister) more like You as we live for tomorrow.