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day 711: Multiples

“Then Peter came to him and asked, ‘Lord, how often should I forgive someone who sins against me? Seven times?’ “No!’ Jesus replied, ‘seventy times seven!”

There’s lots of news this week about mergers and acquisitions. It’s always interesting to watch how much one company will pay for another and the “multiples” of earnings, or revenue that a company can garner in their acquisition price. It’s true, everything, including a corporation, has a price where they will freely sell. However, every industry has their own standard of multiples that are used as comparisons and then prices are calculated from there forward, which gives companies and Board of Directors some direction on what would be a reasonable and competitive offer. Sometimes those offers can look ridiculous to those who are outsiders but multiples can have different values associated with them that are less obvious or seem intangible until understood more thoroughly. So, the math on the surface might not make obvious sense but underneath the multiples paid could pay much higher returns in the future.

This is partly what Jesus was saying to Peter when Peter asked Him how many times we are to forgive those who wrong us? Peter picked a multiple of 7. Jesus put a 70X multiple on Peter’s number making the value of forgiveness one of the most valuable actions we can perform. Jesus probably said this to us too because forgiving is so hard and we are tight with providing our forgiveness to others. What we are being asked to do is not value forgiveness like we would humanly do, such as what Peter recommended, but instead to allow a heavenly multiple to be applied and for us to step forward and forgive freely and way more than we want to humanly do. Today, what multiple have you applied to your forgiveness? Is it meeting the heavenly standard?

Reference: Matthew 18: 21-22 (New Living Testament)