Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Forgiving Repentant Ones

Are we required to forgive people that are not the least bit sorry for what they did?

At Luke 17:3,4 Jesus is quoted as counselling us: “Pay attention to yourselves. If your brother commits a sin give him a rebuke, and if he repents forgive him. Even if he sins seven times a day against you and he comes back to you seven times, saying, ‘I repent,’ you must forgive him.” (Context here.)

Although we are urged to freely forgive others, those who sin against us should willingly, humbly and honestly apologize in order to receive forgiveness. If they are not sorry, they shouldn’t expect that we have to tolerate their inconsiderate words or actions against us. Jesus' words here make it plain that we are right to expect an apology and repentance before extending forgiveness. In some cases though, you might decide to be the “bigger man” by not making an issue of someone’s prideful hesitance to apologize. Also, Jesus' words in Luke 17 are not a license for us to be petty and thin-skinned.

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