‘…how often shall…I forgive him…?’ Matthew 18:21 NKJV
When people are upset they say and do the wrong things. And at times like these it’s easy for you to become critical of them and arrive at the wrong conclusion. Instead, slow down; ask God for patience and understanding. Don’t force others to live by their past while you expect yours to be forgotten. Whatever you sow in mercy you’ll reap a hundred times over. Everybody makes mistakes, so give them a chance to come back into the relationship with dignity. How long has it taken you to correct the mistakes in your life? Aren’t you still working on some of them? Aren’t you glad people don’t know the whole story of your struggles? So give people time; give them an opportunity to explain themselves. They may not even know the right words at first, so be willing to listen a little longer. Jesus put up with Peter’s weaknesses because He knew what Peter would one day become. Interestingly, when someone upset Peter he came to Jesus and said, ‘…“how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven times?” Jesus said to him…“Seventy times seven.”’ (Matthew 18:21–22 NKJV) If they have a flicker of hope, fan that flame, don’t extinguish it. They don’t need a critic, they need a cheerleader. When Nathaniel Hawthorne was fired from his job he was devastated. But his wife said to him, ‘Now you can start that book you’ve always wanted to write.’ Out of that came The Scarlet Letter. James Whistler failed at the US Military Academy. He also failed in business. But a friend encouraged him to try painting. And the rest is history. So give them another chance.
SoulFood: Eze 24:1–27:24, Luke 21:1–11, Ps 78:17–31, Pro 20:15–19
The Word for Today is authored by Bob and Debby Gass and published under licence from UCB International Copyright ©