READ : Luke 17:3-5
“If the same person sins against you seven times a day . . . you must forgive.” (v. 4)
It’s hard enough to forgive someone even once. But seven times? Little wonder the disciples say, “Increase our faith!”
Of course, some injuries don’t require forgiveness. I’m thinking about that parade of little hurts and humiliations that are just a part of life. A friend failed to send you a card when you were hospitalized. A co-worker has idiosyncrasies that annoy you. Your neighbor’s Doberman answers the call of nature on your lawn. To make every minor irritation an occasion for forgiveness is to trivialize a vital issue.
But some offenses are anything but trivial. Some wounds are deep and painful. Can we really forgive?
Forgiveness is not an event; it is a process. Think of forgiveness as a long, winding road. If you even want to forgive someone, you’re already on the road. You haven’t yet reached your destination, but you’re on the road. You may wander off the road now and then. The resentment may come seeping back into your soul. But don’t give up. Get back on the road.
Keep asking God to help you. Keep praying for your enemy. Keep confessing your own sins, and in the knowledge that God forgives you, you will find yourself more and more able to forgive those who hurt you.
Lord, increase my faith.