Then Peter came up and said to him, “Lord, how often will my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you seven times, but seventy-seven times.” (Matthew 18:21-22)
When someone hurts us, our first, fleshly instinct is to distance ourselves from that person. We don’t want anything to do with them. If we are really hurt, we might just walk away from the relationship entirely. If we look at how Jesus handled being hurt by His friends, we will see that giving up is not the course of action we should take.
Do you realize that Jesus never gave up on Simon Peter? If Jesus had been like us, He probably would have given up. However, Jesus was not like you and me; He never gave up on His friend. He knew that Simon Peter had real promise in him. He knew that Simon Peter’s best days were ahead of him. He didn’t give up.
You might be ready to give up on your spouse or give up on a child or a friend. God doesn’t want you to give up on them. When you love like Jesus, you don’t give up on your spouse, children or friends. You simply don’t give up! Even if they have broken promises, and their broken promises have crashed your dreams; don’t give up on them.
We are never more like Jesus than when we love someone else enough to give them a second chance. We should give those we love a second chance, especially when they have wounded us, disappointed us, and maybe even damaged us. As we do, we need to lean on the power of Jesus to give them a second chance. After all, we can’t extend grace and mercy in our own power. We are only capable of doing that through the power of the Holy Spirit. By being gracious and merciful and giving second chances, you can love more like Jesus.