Lamech said to his wives,
“Adah and Zillah, listen to me;
wives of Lamech, hear my words.
I have killed a man for wounding me,
a young man for injuring me.
If my father is avenged seven times,
then Lamech seventy-seven times.”
- Genesis 4:23-24
Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?” Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.”
- Matthew 18:21-22
The ancient tribal leader, Lamech, escalated violence. He repaid injury with death, and he avenged any insult 77 times over. The Savior of the world, Jesus, escalated forgiveness. He repaid injury with forgiveness, and he returned any insult with a mountain of blessing.
When your own heart repays others, does it come out healthier if it repays others with goodness or meanness? As you think about the world today, what do we need more of, an escalation of insults and vengeance or an escalation of forgiveness and blessing?
Take some time to read over the scriptures above again, letting the way of the world and the way of Jesus sink deeply into your mind and heart. Take a full minute on each just thinking about it, tasting and smelling it with your soul, turning it over in your thoughts. And ask Jesus to show you the way to life today.
Then, play for the practice for the week. Today, set aside a time (put a reminder on your phone!) to pray the Lord’s Prayer. Pause when you get to “as we have forgiven our debtors” and let the Spirit bring to mind whoever you need to work on forgiving. Take your best step towards forgiving them, knowing that it’s often a process.