Forgiveness is a critical part of the healing process. While it is ideal to forgive someone as soon as possible, it’s never too late. I have found that once I have extended forgiveness, I feel so much more at peace. It is an action (and attitude) that I never regret.
Within Judaism, forgiving three times is adequate for showing forgiveness, so Peter seems to think he’s being generous when he suggests seven times. However, Jesus instructs Peter to forgive seventy-seven times, which is essentially forgiving without keeping count. True disciples of Jesus should be “living in forgiveness” just as Christ daily forgives us.
My favorite verse in the Bible is “Come.” (Matthew 14:29) Peter walked on water, but his fear sank him. I wonder if Peter was more afraid of imperfection than the wind. Although I don’t see this command again in the Gospels, the Lord continued to invite Peter to come with Him in every way and until the very end.
Many years ago, while existing in complete darkness, a “friend” told me that I was a very unforgiving person. I never forgot her words. They planted a seed that remained in the dark for many years. What I know now is that I cannot embrace if I refuse or am unable to first acknowledge and accept that forgiveness and healing is needed.