“Adept” means being skilled or proficient at something. My daughter is signed up for driver’s training this summer, and she’s a bit nervous about getting behind the wheel. There’s so much to remember while driving and endless scenarios presented by weather, road conditions, and of course other drivers. But you and I who’ve been driving for years have become “adept” at navigating the roads. We don’t give it much thought because with all this practice we’ve become skilled at driving.
Similarly, we need to become adept at forgiveness. When Peter asked Jesus if he should forgive someone up to seven times, Jesus said do it until your adept at it: “70 times 7 times” (Matthew 18:21-22).
Can you imagine forgiving someone even seven times for the same sin against you? Your teenager lies to your face. Your spouse insults your character. Your co-worker takes credit for your work. Seven times! Anyone willing to forgive that much must be a really godly person, right? I mean, “seven times” even sounds like a heavenly number. But Jesus says that’s nothing–nowhere near enough. Make it 70 x 7. His exaggeration is really no exaggeration: Jesus calls His followers to keep on forgiving as often as they’re offended.
Seeing how we live in a sin-full world with sin-full people, we’re going to have many opportunities to practice forgiveness. We will be offended so regularly that we should become skilled at forgiving. At times, we’ll be the ones needing forgiveness, as we ourselves sin against others in our words and actions.
Perhaps asking for forgiveness and granting forgiveness helps us re-focus this Easter season on how much God has forgiven us. We will have regular opportunities to become adept at forgiving others, so by God’s grace, let’s start forgiving more today.