I blog to share insights that I am uncovering from scripture. Today I sense that what I will share is especially for someone who will read this in the next hours.
So if this finds a quick application in your heart, an immediate context of need, do take it as a sign of God's care for you. This word will set you free as you follow what the Spirit of God directs you to do in response.
I was struck a few days ago by this word of Jesus to us: "Pay attention to yourselves! If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him, and if he sins against you seven times in the day, and turns to you seven times, saying, 'I repent" - you must forgive him." Luke 17:3-4 ESV
In that day to forgive someone three times in a day was considered most honorable.
This declaration more than doubles the "honorable" into what seems like the incalculable. (I can't see Jesus endorsing unforgiveness because that was sin #8!)
I note too that in this passage not only is generous forgiveness to be the standard, but also "rebuke" is to be a part of the process....not a caustic, condemnatory loudness, but an appeal to repentance and an offer to forgive.
And it is not all contingent on "justice, fairness," consequences etc...that is all God's business in the end, and should fill us with deep concern in the now, to do everything we can not to obstruct His final processes. But this is all about the action of grace.
We need it all...the loving appeal of rebuke, the confession, the forgiveness, the restoration, and the wonderful forgetfullness of grace.
May, "I forgive you," be frequently on our lips, and may it bring forth the presence of God in the one who has wronged us, and in ourselves as well.
Oh, and don't forget how this all begins: "Pay attention to yourselves!" Ah, could it be that we need to hear this as much as we need to give it?
"..and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us."