Wednesday, October 29, 2008

To forgive?

October 28, 2008

Forgiveness. It is a word that strikes a bit of fear in people. They make themselves vulnerable if they ask for it, and also if they give it. To ask for it means that you did something wrong. Now, I may not have learned much from my dad, but I did learn one thing. If you make a mistake, admit it and move on. Though I learned it, it took years to bring it into practice.

On the other hand, forgiving someone else. That gets hard. What did Jesus say about forgiveness?

Luke 17:3-4 LO
3 Take heed yourselves: if your brother trespass against you, rebuke him; and if he reforms, forgive him;
4 and if he trespass against you seven times in a day, and seven times in a day return, saying, I repent, you shall forgive him.

The word trespass here is offense. It is something that someone does to you that offends you. In today's world, I do not think that any one of us can go through any day without being offended. All I have to do is turn on the TV to one of the cable news channels and listen long enough. Someone will say something that I do not agree with and I will be offended. Here is when the words of the Bible come into play. We are to rebuke that person. We are to tell the person that they have offended us. Now it obviously isn't an admonishment when I talk to the politician on the TV, he can not hear me. But it is an admonition if I talk to the person next to me and tell them what they did bothers me. It could be a spouse, a child, a parent, or a friend. It does not tell you to get in there face and yell them down, it just says to tell them.

Next comes the trick part, we are to forgive them! Forgive, to lay aside, omit, those are hard things to do. Part of me wants to hold on to that sin of the other. Maybe as a weapon to be used against them later, maybe as a protection so that I will not be hurt again. But Gos is not in that, we are to forgive, even up to seven times in one day. Seven in the Bible is a number of completion, it is a a sign that things are finished. You need to let go of that offence and leave it to God.

Now that does not mean you will not remember it, you will. I have a scar from an operation a few years ago. If I had picked at it like most people do an offense against them, it would have become infected and been worse. But I let it heal and it did not. Like the scar healing I have to leave the offense against me alone and take no action. Now my scars are small and I do not notice them at all unless I see them in a mirror. Do I still have them, yes! Do I let them run my life? No. Like wise when I forgive someone, I have to let it go so that it does not infect me.

Forgiveness, pass it on.

Read through the Bible in historical order
Luke 16:1-17:10
John 11:1-57
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