So watch yourselves. 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. Luke 17:3-4
Many people in the world look for ways to get revenge against someone who did them wrong. They do not seek reasons to forgive, but to punish.
People feel as if they have the right to get vengeance for things done wrong. The more the punishment, the more pleased they are.
Jesus tells the people to be willing to forgive someone. If a person sins, he is to be rebuked, then if he repents, he is to be forgiven, regardless of how many times he sins in a day.
Forgiving someone is something many people in the church struggle with doing. They will act as the world does in wanting a person punished rather than forgiven.
It begins when a person sins or hurts one and that person does not reach out to point out what occurred. The one who did wrong is not given a chance to repent, and then when he does repent, he is often not forgiven. Just like the world, many seek vengeance rather than forgiveness.
Every believer must remember how many times Jesus has already forgiven them for all their sins against Him. God never turns away or rebukes someone who has repented, He forgives immediately.
If Jesus is willing to forgive, every believer must be willing to forgive those who repent of doing something wrong. Only if a person does not repent, does a believer not have to forgive.
Forgiving someone shows God’s love to that person and to others watching. It is revealing who God and what He is like.
Just like Jesus was sinned against, there have been people who have sinned against you. Be willing to go to that person and point out what was done wrong. Give the person a chance to repent, just as God gives you opportunities to repent.
If the person repents, then be willing to forgive them, just as Jesus has forgiven you. Do not hold on to bitterness, anger and vengeance against someone, but release it to God.
Remember how many times God has already forgiven you and will continue to forgive you when you repent. Do the same to others.
Today I pray that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that God will give you strength to confront those who have harmed you; that you will have God’s love to forgive those who repent; and that you will be a testimony of God’s love and forgiveness to others.