PUTTING OFF THE OLD and putting on the new is a vital theme throughout the New Testament. Jesus clearly taught his followers the importance of being transformed, or born again. I think of this transformation as a spiritual awakening through which we discover what God created each of us to be—His own spiritual likeness, the reflection of divine Life, Truth, and Love.
One of the essential elements for transformation—for putting off old ways of limited thinking, old habits, old resentments and hurts—is forgiveness. To become new in Christ surely includes coming to an understanding of the real meaning of forgiving. And it may also require that we practice it sincerely—over and over again if necessary—until we get it right.
Didn't Jesus teach this very point? When asked, "If my brother sin against me, how many times do I forgive him? Is seven times sufficient?" See Matt. 18:21. Jesus answered that even this wasn't enough. The requirement is more like seventy times seven—or four hundred and ninety instances of forgiveness. This approaches what God is asking of us and what God is willing to do for us.