And if he sins against you seven times a day, and returns to you seven times, saying, “I repent,” forgive him.
— LUKE 17:4 —
Israel Corral Lopez: Berea Seminary | Spain
We live in a society where we are encouraged from an early age to fight back if someone hits us. This absurd advice is nothing less than revenge. When you are looking for a job, people tell you that it does not really matter who you have to trample on, you have to look out for yourself and get the job. This is cold-hearted selfishness. And we could go on and on about many other tips and advice that always look for the benefit of oneself over everything and everyone, and yet are against the character of God. The only innocent One, who never committed sin, is the supreme example of forgiveness. Let’s imitate Him! In the words of the Lord Jesus Christ, we find a principle and a simple commandment: Forgive the repentant believer. Therefore, forgiveness is not one option among many; forgiveness does not depend on your mood, or on the gravity of the offense. The problem that makes forgiveness hard is that it is a volitional action that clashes with our sinful human nature. But we must forgive our repentant brother in the faith because it is God Himself who demands it from us. When a repentant brother comes to you, don’t forget this divine commandment. Instead, remember two things: first, God forgave you—not only one sin but all your transgressions. Second, our greatest example, Jesus Christ, forgave others in this manner when at the cross, He said “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing” (Luke 23:34). The only innocent One, who never committed sin, is the supreme example of forgiveness. Let’s imitate Him!