7x70

Album: No Far Away (2010)

Songfacts®:

  • This vulnerable ballad about forgiveness was influenced by August's parents divorcing when he was in fifth grade. He sings on the chorus: "7x70 times I'll do what it takes to make it right. I thought the pain was here to stay but forgiveness made a way." The song title refers to Peter's question to Jesus - "Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?" Jesus replied, "I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times."
  • August shared the story of the song in an interview with The Sound Opinion: "When I was writing that song, it was the last song I wrote on the album. I definitely wasn't even planning on writing it. I was actually hanging out in the studio two days before recording the album, and Ed Cash (my producer) looked at me and said, 'Chris, I think you still need a personal song on the album.' I was thinking, 'What do you mean? They're all personal songs.'

    Ed told me to write about what hurt me when I was a kid. I went home that night and started thinking about my childhood. I grew up in the same house my entire life until about a year and half-ago when I moved to Nashville. I started thinking about all the memories in that house. I learned how to walk and talk, throw a baseball, saw my family fall apart. I come from a broken home and just a lot of other stuff happened – some things made my childhood a little difficult. I started thinking about all that and started writing about it.

    Ed said to write about what hurt me growing up, and I wrote the first verse to "7×70." I showed up at his place the next morning and sat at the piano and played it for him. I looked over at Ed when I was done, and he had tears in his eyes. He said, 'Chris, this song has to be on your album and it has to be about forgiveness.' I was like, 'What are you talking about — forgiveness? You said to write about what hurt me.' But through that, I felt God start to teach me about forgiveness.

    God is a God of forgiveness, and with forgiveness comes healing. It's not the easiest thing to do, but one of the names for the Holy Spirit is Comforter. I took a hold of that, and we wrote this song. It definitely wasn't the easiest time, but I think it was good for a lot of emotions to pour out.

    I've never been able to find any good to come from bitterness. I think when we search our hearts and find that, and can forgive, it can be very beneficial to our own lives. It wasn't an overnight thing – it's been a little over a year since I wrote that song. The initial part of forgiveness is the decision to forgive. But the healing takes a while. I'm still going through it, but I definitely encourage people to search their hearts. Maybe they need to forgive or need to ask for forgiveness. It's an important thing that I think a lot of people kind of skip over."
  • The song's music video was shot in the Texas native's childhood home. August told The Sound Opinion: "I definitely wasn't thinking when I said, 'We should shoot this at the house I grew up in.' Afterwards, I was like, 'Oh, I shouldn't say that – because then they're actually gonna want to do that.' But we traveled back to Garland, Texas and shot the video in the house I grew up in. It was kind of crazy. I always go there when I'm in Dallas, but it was the first time I had been back to the house since I wrote the song. I started thinking about all those memories.

    It was pretty weird especially with intertwining those videos from when I was a kid, and then standing in the same spot more than 20 years later. When I got to watch the music video for the first time, I couldn't believe how it all came together and watching my life story unfold before my eyes."

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