Join us as we read through the Gospel of Luke during this Advent Season...
By Cecilia Gibbs, Assistant Principal Rock Solid Christian Academy
Luke 17: 1-37
Our reading today is from Luke 17. In this chapter Jesus teaches about forgiveness, heals ten lepers, and predicts “In His day the Son of Man will light up the sky.”
While reading this chapter my focus went to the subject of forgiveness. Luke 17:3-4 say, “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.” (NIV)
The word rebuke means to express strong disapproval or criticism because of another person’s behavior or actions. But Christ’s expectation for us is to rebuke our brother’s and sisters in love. That’s the hard part! Our behavior toward others, no matter how hurt or offended we might be, is to respond in love. “Instead, we will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ, who is the head of his body, the church.” (Ephesians 4:15 NLT)
Christ takes this idea one step further by teaching us that if a person repents, we must forgive them. Yet another difficult lesson for us to learn! AND He goes even further to say that regardless of whether or not a person repents for their wrongdoing, we must still forgive them. Whew!
I recently read an article by Focus on the Family on this very subject. “You really have no choice. Either you forgive or you slowly poison your mind and heart. If you hold on to unresolved bitterness it will destroy you. You can’t control another person’s actions and attitudes. But by God’s grace and with His help you must learn to control your own. If you choose not to forgive, you only hurt yourself."
If you are holding on to unforgiveness, my prayer is that you’ll seek Christ today. He gives us the strength we need to forgive those who have seriously hurt us. Our Lord want to protect us from a heart of bitterness, and His plan is always right!
“Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.” (Colossians 3:13 NIV)