“Jesus said to his disciples, ‘Stumbling blocks are sure to come, but woe to the one through whom they come! It would be better for him to have a millstone tied around his neck and be thrown into the sea than for him to cause one of these little ones to sin. Watch yourselves! If your brother sins, rebuke him. If he repents, forgive him. Even if he sins against you seven times in a day, and seven times returns to you saying, “I repent,” you must forgive him.’” (Luke 17:1-4 NET)
Forgiving others. So difficult at times, yet so necessary. We know it is important because of the number of times Jesus spoke about it and told stories that illustrated it. Continue reading “We must forgive”
I would guess that most of us have been there. Someone has made themselves our enemy. They torment us and make our life miserable when they are around us. Then one day an opportunity presents itself to get them back, to humiliate them in some way. After all they have done to us, they deserve it! (or so we reason). What do we do?
David faced something similar many times in his life. As you read through the Psalms, time and again he talks about his enemies being against him and doing things to him. One of those enemies was King Saul, who also happened to be David’s father-in-law. Continue reading “Trusting in God”
In the fleshly realm, forgiveness represents everything humanity hates.
In a song about forgiving a cheating, lying wife, Lyle Lovett sings, “God does. But I don’t. God will, but I won’t. And that’s the difference between God and me.”
Forgiveness to some means surrender and endorsement. We won’t forgive until they’ve suffered sufficiently to appease our anger. But emotions are the cruelest creatures on earth and they can’t be trusted. Continue reading “Thoughts and questions about forgiveness”
Forgiving each other seems to be something that many Christians struggle with. From my experience of serving congregations for the past thirty-five years, it is the small offences, often done without thinking, that may serve to divide Christians and even split congregations.
Forgiving each other is so important that Jesus spent quite a bit of time teaching the necessity of forgiving. He even based some of his parables on the need to forgive. One of the most striking of these, to me, is the Parable of the Unforgiving Servant, recorded in Matthew 18. Continue reading “Forgive from the Heart”
From the time he had set eyes on his brothers, he wanted to know whether they had changed. He wanted to forgive his brothers. But forgiveness isn’t cheap.
His brothers hadn’t recognised him although he knew them in an instant. After all – all they saw was an Egyptian who was in charge who seemed rather harsh, not the Joseph they had sold into slavery sixteen years earlier. They were his brothers, but had they changed? Continue reading “A spirit of forgiveness”