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Week 3 Objections and Exceptions

The envelope proclaimed: "You've Been Pre-Forgiven: Open to Find Out How!" Inside was a pitch from an auto insurance company. "For your first accident," it promised, "your premium won't go up- even a penny." Nothing was said, however, about a second accident. Presumably, there'd be no forgiveness for that.

Placing limits on accident forgiveness makes sense for an insurance company. Unfortunately, sometimes we wish to limit or set conditions on the forgiveness we might offer. Perhaps we feel that there are things that cannot, or should not, be forgiven: murder, rape, or child abuse. Maybe we insist that forgiving just isn't fair, given the circumstances. Or it could be that we want the one who hurt us to earn our forgiveness by apologizing or changing their ways.

When Jesus taught us to forgive "seventy times seven times,” he wasn’t asking us to keep score. Instead, he was referring to the ancient belief that seven was a perfect number, associated with God. Jesus was inviting us to forgive as God forgives: freely and generously, without conditions, without limits, and without strings attached.ľ

Such forgiveness certainly isn't fair, because it's a gift. But then again, we should know that by its name: for-give. This week, read chapters 5, 6, and 7.

Ask yourself: • What would be different about my workplace environment if I stopped forming “payback” thoughts? What about the atmosphere at home?