Luke 17:1-4 NKJV
Then He said to the disciples, “It is impossible that no offenses should come, but woe to him through whom they do come! It would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were thrown into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones. 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.”
I am on the struggle bus with forgiving people who have done wrong to me or offended me in some way. Part of it is because I spend so much time trying not to offend others, that when it happens to me I go straight to the why did this person do this to me? Why was I the recipient of x,y,z. It’s a sort of woe is me pity party. My Daddy says to me ” why not you princess?” Now excluding the royal title that my Daddy has given me, because princesses become queens and are to be treated as such…He does have a point. I mean I am just an extraordinary peculiar child of God right? So why would I believe that I won’t experience some sort of strife, offense, or trial? I mean to prove I am more than a conqueror I clearly need some battles that I’ve fought and won to prove it. Even knowing this time and time again I have become a doubting Thomas and held grudges that are blocking my blessings. I’ve been in the rathole of explanation and why, and usually the person or circumstance I have questioned is peacefully sleeping and carrying on with or without me. Which in turn makes me aggrivated with myself for allowing something to disturb my peace and joy. What’s even more annoying is that I will eventually forgive the person(s) and even the circumstances but I won’t forget. Now the latter I wish I did better. Forgetting would not stir up the old wounds or make the emotions feel so real! As if it happened today when it was 3 months or even a year plus ago. It amazes me how people are able to do this and the tendency can be to remember the negative. But recalling the positive seems harder. Even if the initial re-interaction is positive, one can quickly remember the offenses that caused a circumstance or relation to go sour. Jesus tells us to rebuke the person/thing that causes us offense and to forgive them if they repent. The key piece is the one I have been missing here: 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.” Yes,”if he repents”. I swear I just had the biggest Epiphany like 10 years late! That rathole that I climb in is because I give people opportunities to be forgiven by me. Yes I know that sounds arrogant, but what I mean is I have literally told someone they offended me/hurt me and I will bring it up over and over again wanting an apology or explanation, and some folks will know they did me wrong but will not give me the satisfaction of an apology or I made a mistake etc. I am not God, so my ability to bring about conviction is umm limited meaning…I can’t. But He can, especially with a believer!…. Nonbelievers can be hard (not impossible), but I have had more success with reconciliation, forgiveness, and even forgetting when I stand on God’s word about my offenses not necessarily my emotions. The reality is that I am in love with God and his truth, so most times my pain and affliction arises from what goes against the truths that I have knowledge of. My affictions come from straddling and compromise. In other words, when someone offends the faith fibers that are embedded in my mind and rest on my heart I feel it and react. Now some may say its a reaction of the flesh and sometimes it can be, like if I cuss you out, but for me its because of an offense to my spirit the Holy Spirit. The tendency for me is to want to avenge against the other person (only in my mind). But my beef is never really with them, its the fact that I am now misaligned to God or I compromised my walk to please said person(s) or circumstances knowing Good and Well I should have been pleasing El Shaddai. Then there is the forgiving as many times as your offender repents. At first this sounds irrational, but its actually a lesson in How God loves me and loves you. This scripture is a mirror of the way God loves me and forgives me: as often and as many times as I repent. Look at God! His word not only gives instruction but its a personal love letter to His children to show his heart and intentions. That is how I view His word love notes from Heaven. So imagine how you would feel if someone or something took love notes that you treasure and tore them to shreds…I imagine you would not be happy! This entry is to my offenders, you may not understand why I go off or think I’m too passionate, but stop tearing up my love letters from God. If you take a soldier’s gun, you should prepare to shoot and kill him/her. If he/she’s not dead then be prepared for the infantry that comes to his/her rescue they are higher and more powerful. The power of prayer, praise, worship, love and forgiveness and repentance far outweighs any personal offense that could be given. Stay encouraged.
Written with love,