The scripture reading for today is Luke 17:4 KJV.
"And if he trespasses against thee seven times in a day, and seven times in a day turn again to thee, saying, I repent: thou shalt forgive him."
"Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times? Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven." Matthew 18:21-22.
Who reports the forgiveness formula correctly, Luke or Matthew? The point is, any offense should be forgiven if the person asking truly repents, no matter how many times it takes. We have the exact formula (and warning) in the Lord's Prayer: Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us." Simple, but not easy.
I had a friend for many years, and she continually made commitments to me and broke them. I seemed always to be trying to lift her out of her negative outlook. I forgave her because she had had a difficult life, was a very busy person, and did many good things, but she could be very hurtful when she dove into one of what she called her "crazy" times. She broke one commitment to me that made things difficult, and I had had enough. Our friendship ended. Eventually I was able to forgive her, but I was so much happier surrounding myself with positive people who added to my life. I didn't make it to "seventy times seven," but I was able to forgive and move on.
Jesus knew his disciples would be facing people who would ridicule them, harm them, despise them, and heap difficulties upon them, and Jesus was preparing them to be forgiving. How many times did Jesus forgive Israel for disobedience? How many times have we forgiven our children? Why did Jesus die on the cross for us? It seems we cannot love unless we can forgive --- or can we forgive because we can love?
When we are hurt, forgiveness does not come easily. I really like what the apostles said to Jesus after the Luke 17:4 verse. "And the apostles said unto the Lord, Increase our faith." Luke 17:5.
Thank you for forgiving us, most generous Lord, for the hurts we may have caused. Help us to be as forgiving as You are. Increase our faith." Amen.
Sandy Topping Sandybt37@aol.com
Prayer Concern – Help us to follow the words of the Lord’s Prayer everyday!