Scripture – Luke 17:3-4
“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.”
Jesus outlines some simple steps of how to deal with a brother or sister (fellow disciple) who hurts you, betrays you, wrongs you, sins against you.
The first step: rebuke them. A rebuke is not saying something hurtful or sinning against them in return, but rather bringing to light that something they did or said has hurt you in some way. Jesus counsels us to avoid burying our hurts, which leads to bitterness, but rather to bring into the light the hurts, rejections and wounds we have received.
The second step: allow them to repent. Repentance is genuine remorse followed by a desire to live differently.
The third step: forgive them. Forgiveness releases the soul from bondage and without forgiving people when they sin against you, you decide to allow unforgiveness which produces bitterness to take root in your heart.
The last step: forgive them again and again no matter how many times they sin against you. Why? Because Jesus paid the price for our forgiveness of sins of yesterday, today and tomorrow. Having received the free gift of God through which He forgives us each time we sin, even if it is seven times a day, we are to offer the same forgiveness to those who sin against us because we are children of God and becoming more like the Son Jesus is what discipleship is.
Awareness. Being aware of when people sin against you and not falsely believing that brushing it under the carpet is either biblical or godly. Following the steps outlined by Jesus.
Father you have been sinned against be every human you created yet your love for us is so enormous! Thank you for forgiving my sins and for every time I may sin in the future. Help me to become more and more like Jesus as I follow your commands and live in freedom from unforgiveness and bitterness. Disciple me to become saltier and brighter in this world. You are worthy and I receive your strength and guidance afresh today. In Jesus’ name, amen.