“Peter asked, “How often should I forgive?”…Jesus said, “Not seven times, but, I tell you, seventy-seven times.” Matthew 18: 21-22
They say it takes from 18 to 254 days for a habit to form and about 66 days for a habit to become automatic. There are habits which are healthy and life-giving and others that are harmful and even dangerous. I would be curious to know how many habits changed in the last six month and how many new habits began. I bet you never thought wearing a mask would become a habit or learning how to stay 2 metres away from others would become second nature. It may not seem obvious when thinking about habits, but offering forgiveness is one of the healthiest habits one can have.
Forgiveness is a central value for Christians. Forgiveness means letting go of anger and resentment. It means wiping the slate clean with a chance to start over, not only for the forgiven but for those doing the forgiving. It is important to remember that forgiveness doesn’t erase consequences, nor does it give license for abuse or injustice. Forgiveness is a burden lifted and an act of mercy. Forgiveness is a habit that softens hearts and reconciles relationships. Jesus’ forgiveness of us is limitless and we are expected to do the same for others. In these uncertain times, a healthy forgiveness habit is needed more than ever.