By Tara Baudoin
That’s how many times Jesus told Peter he should forgive his brother or sister who sins against him. Forgiveness can be a difficult process. It is not a natural reaction but a willful act. Sometimes we have to choose to forgive someone for the same offense multiple times daily—not because the offense is repeated, but because we are frequently reminded of it.
Forgiveness brings with it a chance for redemption, cleansing and liberty—not just for the person who receives forgiveness, but also—especially—for the one offering it.
In this painting, 70 Times 7, I intended to capture that process, with all its imperfections, moments of strength and weakness, and ultimately the hope of complete redemption.
With every passing circle another opportunity to forgive comes around. And with every choice to forgive, a little more of the bitterness that once shackled the offended person melts away, giving way to freedom and hope. Forgiveness is a beautiful victory over injustice.
Some will see the interwoven circles and be reminded of the truest picture of forgiveness there ever was—the crown of thorns worn by Jesus Christ, representing not just a choice to forgive, but a willingness to suffer for it.
When we choose to forgive, we are more like Christ.
Forgiveness isn’t easy, but the reward is eternal.
*Publisher Note: When we thought about “thankfulness” for this month, we couldn’t help but think of those struggling in the grip of unforgiveness, either with family or a stranger whose life intersected with theirs negatively, overshadowing any feelings of gratitude for God’s blessings.
Full circle forgiveness is getting to the place where not only have you forgiven the one who has sinned against you, but you now are praying for them too. Don’t wait any longer—grab a copy of this painting, give it as an offering of forgiveness to the one you have struggled with for far too long, and fill that empty place at your table.