Message “I’ll Forgive You . . . This Time!” by Randy Roberts
Part 4 - Forgiveness: Scandalous Yet Splendid!
Pastoral Welcome: Shawna Campbell and Genevieve Koh Isidro
Scripture Reading: Luke 17:1–5, TNIV - Lance and Lyndon Hundley
Prayer: Roger McQuistan
Interview: Joelle Reuer
When it comes to theme of forgiveness, a question that often gets asked is, “How often should I forgive someone for an offense against me? After all, you know what they say, Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me! So what about it – am I supposed to just keep forgiving and forgiving and forgiving?”
What are the limits of forgiveness? Jesus is quite clear that he wishes for his followers to manifest the same kind of open, free and limitless forgiveness that God offers. After all, remember the dialogue he had with Peter?
Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive someone who sins against me? Up to seven times?”
Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.” (Matthew 18:21–22, TNIV).
Those last words of Jesus’ answer can also be translated, “Seventy times seven.” Clearly, he’s driving at the fact that we are not to keep track of the number of times we have forgiven someone – just as God does not keep track of the number of times he has forgiven us.
But how realistic is that? And – maybe more importantly – how healthy is that? Isn’t there some point in time when draw a boundary? “That’s it! You’ve done it to me enough times. No more!”
In our current series, we turn to such questions today. We’ve tried to address whether or not forgiveness is an option – it’s not; Jesus requires it. We’ve tried to address what forgiveness is and isn’t – it’s not pretending, minimizing or excusing what happened; it’s releasing someone from the emotional debt they owe us. And we’ve tried to address how to forgive – we feel our emotions; we face the realities of what it means to forgive; we seek to find God’s perspective in our lives; and we finish the process of forgiving.
But this week we come to a critical question: How often? How often should we forgive?
I hope you join us for this most important theme. And I urge you to pray for God’s presence, blessing and forgiving Spirit to pervade our community.
In the spirit of forgiveness,