Luke 17:3-5 — 3 “So watch yourselves. If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him. 4 If he sins against you seven times in a day, and seven times comes back to you and says, ‘I repent,’ forgive him.” 5 The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith!” (NIV)
Jesus was teaching His disciples about forgiveness, and as His message reached the midway point, the disciples cried out in unison, “Increase our faith!” There was a sense of urgency in their voices. They realized it was going to take more faith than they already had in order to forgive certain offenders.
Jesus mentioned two different scenarios in Luke 17:3-4; the first of which I want to talk about today. He began by saying if a brother sins against you one time and repents, you are to forgive him. Most people have said something like, “I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to forgive that person for what he or she did.” And the truth is there are certain sins we may not be able to forgive in our own strength.
All offenses hurt, but there are some that hurt deeply. (Such offenses vary from person to person.) They wound us and leave scars that serve as a constant reminder of what was done to us. All it takes is one such offense to potentially ruin a person’s life.
Many people rehearse a sin that was committed against them years ago. They go over and over it in their minds and are unable to let it go. It’s really sad, but some people have allowed one unfair moment in time to completely destroy their lives. Lord, give us the faith to forgive even the deepest of offenses!
Maybe today you are struggling with unforgiveness. Someone hurt you deeply, and you are unable to forgive him or her in your own strength. My prayer is that your faith will be increased. Let go of what was done to you. By faith, you can forgive because His love has been shed abroad in your heart!
Romans 5:5 — The love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us (KJV).
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