sometimes you have to forgive the same person, again, for committing the same offense against you, for the second [or third or fourth] time. you wonder why they didn't learn their lesson and you wonder what is causing them to fall into the same trap. but none-the-less, forgiveness is still commanded. seventy times seven.
i was faced with this opportunity not too long ago: to forgive a repeat offender for a very similar offense. in my weakness and in the first moments, i cried out to God. why did this happen again? doesn't God see the sin that is being committed? does it not grieve Him? isn't there anything He can do about this person, to make sure that it doesn't keep happening? i was pointing fingers, casting blame, accusing this person before the throne of God.
accusing before the throne of God... isn't that was Satan does? day and night? accuse us before God?
revelation 12:10 "the accuser of our brothers, who accuses them before our God day and night..."
as i realized what i was doing, i saw a very clear picture of my prayers [accusations] rising before the righteous Judge, the Ancient of Days. and then i saw my Savior [Who is also my offender's savior] interceding on my offender's behalf. my accusations against my offender hold no weight before the Judge, as long as the Savior lives, the One who already took all the blame, the One who actively intercedes for us.
i have to look at every offense through God's eternal perspective. in Hebrews 10, i am reminded that at the very moment we accept salvation through faith in Christ's sacrifice, we are seen as blameless before God... "because by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy". at the time of our salvation, we are made perfect. our eternal life starts immediately, right then. it doesn't start when we die. if we are given eternal life, it is only because our sins [all of them, future ones too, because God is outside of the boundaries of time] have been cast away, as far as the east is from the west: “I, even I, am he who blots out your transgressions, for my own sake, and remembers your sins no more." isaiah 43:25 this happens once, for the rest of our earthly lives, and we are seen through the lens of the atoning blood of Christ. we will be made perfect the moment we meet Him face-to-face, and until then we are continually being sanctified and made more holy through relationship and fellowship with Him. none of us will reach perfection until after our death, but God still sees us now in that already perfected state.
if God can see my offender [and me] in this perfected way, i need to practice the same eternal perspective. i need to forgive. i have no other choice. it's not that God doesn't care about what has happened to me, that He's insensitive to my hurt. after all, the sin committed against me was also committed against Him. it's just that in my journey toward sanctification and becoming more holy, He's asking me to see things as He sees them. to accept His Grace over my fallen life and continue to extend it to others. seventy times seven, as many times as it takes.