30th July 2012

As We Forgive Those…

And forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us.”
Luke 11:4 (NLT)

As I sat on the stationary train lost in my own world, catching up with some reading, I gradually became aware of an uneasiness.  The train had been filling up as usual but something was different about this evening’s commute. There was some sort of commotion unfolding on the platform behind me and the men in front had a look of concern. Sitting with my back to the train door and platform entrance I couldn’t see anything – I could only hear the unmistakable sound of two women not happy with their lot in life.  Occasionally, you get a bit of hassle on the train but I find in London it is only women who will allow it to escalate to violence.  My seating location was not the best and it crossed my mind that if they boarded in that state I could easily become collateral damage….

Flash forward 24 hours and I’m back at the station.  I’m dithering over sprinting for a 1-minute train or going for the 5-minute one, I’m not usually indecisive so I make a decision just as the person behind me decides to up her speed.  The collision was full on and quite solid.  Simultaneously we reached out, held on to the other saying the equivalent of an apology and excuse of not looking where we were going, laughed and were on our way.

“As we forgive those…” how many arguments, fights, situations and even wars could be avoided by living by this short phrase?
Toothpaste squeezed in the middle again (as we forgive those…)
Bathmat left wet again (as we forgive those…)
Looked at the wrong way (as we forgive those…)
Spoken to rather sharply (as we forgive those…)
Boss takes credit for your work (as we forgive those…)
Beaten to last seat on train (as we forgive those…)

We all need and want forgiveness but we seem to want to limit the amount of forgiveness we extend.  Christ addressed this too in Matthew 18:21-22 (MSG), “At that point Peter got up the nerve to ask, ‘Master, how many times do I forgive a brother or sister who hurts me? Seven?’  Jesus replied, ‘Seven! Hardly. Try seventy times seven.”  And no, that doesn’t mean we should keep a running tab, but rather that our forgiveness should be limitless.

Thank you, Father, for giving us such a good example to follow.  We all expect to be forgiven but sometimes our forgiveness isn’t so forthcoming – help us to be forgiving.
In Jesus’ name.

Study by Jackee Brown

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