Matthew 18:21-22: ” Then Peter came to Him and said, “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.”
I know you are thinking where in the world could this be going?
I grew up in a family that could have had stock in duct tape. No matter where you looked it was on something. It held the mailbox to the post, the back window in the car, the handle on the stove, the screen in the door, it was on the toilet seat, you get the point the stuff was everywhere. I never really thought about it much any deeper than that. I always thought my Papa was just a rigging genius. In reality the duct tape was used when the correct tool wasn’t known or we didn’t have it. It was a cheap simple fix but it didn’t last very long. It was almost impossible to remove once you used it. After removing it there would be a gray sticky mess for years that collected every piece of dirt that it came in contact with.
My forgiveness life has been kind of like that duct tape. I’ve had a lot of hurts from people that were never supposed to inflict hurt. I spent years almost a lifetime putting duct tape on it. I’ve known Jesus my whole life and that I should forgive others and had really thought I had done that. I had said the words to God, myself and sometimes even them. But honestly, those words “I forgive you” never took root. I spent time with the people who had hurt me and smiled and laughed with them and made excuses for every new hurt. With each new hurt I put my duct tape on them “I forgive you”. Why do I call it duct tape that’s what you’re supposed to say when you’re hurt. I call it duct tape because it wasn’t real. I hadn’t yet accessed the proper tools for those words to work they were just words.
I was saying it but not really meaning it. Whenever they spoke my face said I’m a forgiving, loving, peace making Jesus girl but my heart and my mind said the truth. I despise you and remember everything you’ve done and all I can think of when I pray for you is that I hope you know how much you hurt me and I don’t care how that happens and if I never see or talk to you again that will be fine.
Then it happened. Jesus! My God sending me the correct tools through His Word, a Bible study, other Jesus women I can glean wise counsel from who had been where I was and me listening to the leading of the Holy Spirit. Just like any good duct tape does it hurt to pull off and it left a sticky mess. But thankfully through His grace I am slowly getting the goo b gone to work in my heart and clean up the mess. It’s not completely cleaned up yet but it’s better than it was and it’s no longer collecting dirt. Even more than that I have the correct tools now to only use duct tape for home repair projects and not on my heart and I can truly be that Jesus girl who is merciful and happy working for peace. A heart at peace. No longer an emotional mess creating sickness and disease in myself by duct taping my emotions but a Jesus girl with no resentment and no bitterness who forgives continuously as much as necessary for me to stay in that perfect peace.
I pray over each of you to continue forgiving as much as necessary for you to be whole and that the Holy Spirit will guide you and show you any roots that may need to be pulled out. May any areas that duct tape has been applied to in your life be revealed and the Light shine upon it. In Jesus’ Name.