Due to negative life experiences, most individuals can’t comprehend the concept of love. When the majority of acts you witness on earth are contrary to love, this quality becomes foreign, strange and rare. Thus, when few are actually emulating love, millions of inhabitants on this planet go through life without ever knowing what it means to love.
For if you forgive people their trespasses [their reckless and willful sins, leaving them, letting them go, and giving up resentment], your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their trespasses [their reckless and willful sins, leaving them, letting them go, and giving up resentment], neither will your Father forgive you your trespasses, Matthew 6:14-15.
In her song Vanity and Rot, Lacey Sturm addresses what it means to love from a woman’s perspective. The lyrics of the song from the album Life Screams focuses on the internal battle of forgiveness. Sturm references the desire to believe what she learned as a child. Yet, forgiving someone who commits the same wrongful act over and over again is exhausting.
Then Peter came up to Him and said, Lord, how many times may my brother sin against me and I forgive him and let it go? [As many as] up to seven times? Jesus answered him, I tell you, not up to seven times, but seventy times seven! – Matthew 18:21-22.
One of Jesus’ own disciples struggled with what is means to love. When the concept of forgiveness arose, Peter asked Jesus if Christians should put a limit on forgiveness, using 7 as a starting number. Jesus’ response seems more like a math equation 70 X 7. However, the point of Jesus’ words here point to infinity. Just as God forgives sinners an infinite amount of times, what it means to love is forgiving others just as Jesus forgives you.
by Jay Mankus