“Even if they sin against you seven times in a day and seven times come back to you ‘I repent,’ you must forgive them.””
The Apostles said to The LORD, “increase our faith!” Luke 17:4-5 NIV
Almost all commentators connect verse 5 with the following verse (6) about the mustard seed faith. This follows Jesus reply to their requests. BUT, their request starts first with a challenge from verse 4 that all of us find hard to fulfill. Forgiveness.
It’s actually far more than forgiveness. It’s having to forgive the repeat offender. It’s having to get your heart beyond the lip service of forgiving to a place of cancelling their debt we feel like the owe us. There is, however, a little caveat to Jesus demand, they must ask to be forgiven again and again and again.
So how does faith or the need for more faith tie into forgiveness? One of the core elements of faith is trust in an unknown future. Faith and the knowledge of the outcome of a situation are mutually exclusive. We wrongly think it would be easier to forgive if we knew “this time, they really meant it”. Perhaps you are trying to judge their sincerity over regret of the matter.
The disciples already anticipated how hard it would be to fulfill Jesus demand to forgive. It would require faith to forgive like Jesus.
Jesus loves to answer sincere prayers. If you are having a hard time forgiving, ask the lord for more faith, and not just the desire to forgive. Faith allows you to trust God to intervene in the infraction. Faith helps you move to God’s viewpoint on the whole matter. Faith gives the strength to forgive without having all the answers. Faith redirects forgiveness as a relationship connection between your heart and God’s and less about you and the offender.
Will it ever get easier or less painful to forgive? Maybe! But that is why the disciples knew they needed more help…more faith.
Blessings. Love y’all.
Just landed in Phnom Penh Cambodia. Beautiful and hot.