[Jesus said] “If your brother or sister sins against you, rebuke them; and if they repent, forgive them. Even if they sin against you seven times in a day and seven times come back to you saying, ‘I repent,’ you must forgive them.”
Keep on Forgiving
The key to a Christian life is so simple and yet so difficult. People are going to sin against you. They are going to treat you poorly, they are going to think of themselves before you, and they will be oblivious that they have done anything wrong. What do you do then? Jesus says to lovingly rebuke them.
You are going to treat others poorly—sometimes obliviously, and sometimes, you have to admit, on purpose—because you are thinking of yourself. What do you do when they call you out? Repent. Tell them that you are sorry for what you have done.
When you rebuke people—calling them out—and they respond by saying, “I’m sorry” or “I repent,” what is your next step? Forgive them! It’s so hard. You want to teach them a lesson, and you don’t want to get hurt again, but Jesus is very clear here. “Even if they sin against you seven times in a day and seven times come back to you saying, ‘I repent,’ you must forgive them.”
How do you forgive them when it gets difficult? Think about how God has forgiven you even when you don’t deserve it. God does that because of what Jesus Christ has done, and that’s the same place you get your strength. Think about what Jesus Christ has done—for you and the other person—and forgive that person because of Jesus.
It’s so simple! It’s so difficult. But it is the key to living a Christian life. God bless your efforts to forgive others as you have been forgiven.
Dear Father, forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us. Amen.
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