“Be alert. If you see your friend going wrong, correct him. If he responds, forgive him. Even if it’s personal against you and repeated seven times through the day, and seven times he says, ‘I’m sorry, I won’t do it again,’ forgive him.” (Luke 17:3-4 MSG)
“Walking a Mile in His Shoes”
“I’ve finally accepted grace at this stage of my life”. An old friend was on the phone after a few years of no contact. I joked that he was probably wanting to confess his sins but suggested I didn’t have enough time to hear them all. Amid our laughter, we both agreed that we were counting on the mercy of God in our lives.
My own respective failures to live up to even my own hopes to be a loving and forgiving person sometime make that hard to believe about God. Yet Jesus told his friends that repetitive failure ought not to be a barrier to forgiveness. The other morning, I realized it wasn’t an impossible expectation Jesus was setting, but a path to discovering his merciful character.
We discover the power of forgiveness when we practise it – the first freedom is from our own attachment to the fault or wound. “Forgive us as we forgive others” is an invitation to discovery of the grace of God. We begin to understand God’s continuing patience with our repetitive failures when we do the same for others.
A Prayer for Today
Loving Father, when you watch us live out our lives I am grateful for your patience. Let me see your injunction to “keep on forgiving” as an invitation to discover freedom - not a hopeless aspiration. Release me today to offer correction where necessary -to mend a relationship, not deepen a fracture …. for Jesus’ sake