Luke 17; Genesis 29:1-30; Psalm 22
“Take heed to yourselves. If your brother sins against you, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him. And if he sins against you seven times in a day, and seven times in a day returns to you, saying, ‘I repent,’ you shall forgive him.” (Luke 17:3-4 NKJV)
One of the hardest things for me to do is recognize that some people don’t realize when they’re doing others wrong. You’d think it would be obvious. Something needs to be done and they walk right by it, leaving it for you to do. Or, they hurt you physically, but they’re only “playing around” so you really can’t do anything about it. Or, their jokes are meant to be in fun, but they really dig deep and cause emotional pain. When this happens to me, I have a hard time dealing with it. I internalize it and avoid dealing with the problem. There’s peace that way. For a while, but then it eats at you and the anger builds. Jesus had a simple way to deal with the problem: let your brother know about the problem and if he repents, then forgive him as often as you need to. Jesus doesn’t tell us what to do if he doesn’t repent, but I’m thinking that it works a lot better if you forgive them anyway – but avoid being around them if they can’t see what they’re doing. Of course, if you’re working retail, you’re going to run into people that are rude and ugly towards you. Your boss probably won’t let you tell them what they did wrong. The key to maintaining your sanity then is to forgive them and remind yourself that as much as you may enjoy doing what you’re thinking about, it ain’t worth the jail time.
Maybe you had today off. Maybe you dealt with people at work today and some of them got downright nasty. It happens. You can be small and petty while trying to find revenge, or, you can be Christlike and seek to forgive. On the other side of the equation, how did you treat others today? Did you encourage and uplift, or did you tear people down, even though they weren’t at fault? Plan to make this day a day of encouragement. Appreciate the people around you. When someone sins against you, let them know and work towards forgiveness. You’re worth that.
Lord, You’ve forgiven me for so many sins that I’ve committed against You. Teach me to forgive like You do and to love others like You do. Give me the strength to forgive in all situations.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.