Tuesday, 13 March 2012

How many times should I forgive another?

I remember a clergy person saying to me some time ago that they'd like to go to a church "where there were no people."

Wow! What a statement to make.  Obviously the person, who is a very good person, was making light of the real difficulties inherent in being community.

If we are honest, we would have to admit that it is a big enough challenge trying to live with ourselves!

Add just one person to our number, and the challenges are compounded, and so on as our relationships and community grow. Therefore it is not easy being family, community, church, organization, work environment. This is a fact because of our human brokenness and fallenness.

As humans, we are wounded with psychological, emotional, and spiritual pain; and we are burdened with our sin and imperfection. These human realities are relational factors when we seek to be in meaningful community with other people.

Should the obstacles and challenges to being in community with other people keep us from trying and persevering? Absolutely not!

We are Trinitarian people, made in the image of God - God the  Father who comes forth from Himself in the continuing act of Creation, God the Son, and Who reconciles and returns to Himself with the Divine movement of God the Holy Spirit. God is One.

We are made for relationship with God and with each other. We are made to be One. This is our purpose in life, and it alone will give us true happiness and joy.

But the only way for us to persevere in relationships and in being community and in being church, is to practice forgiveness.

Peter asked Jesus how many times he should forgive his brother or sister, 7 times? Jesus said no, not 7 times, but 70 times 7.

People nor communities are perfect. Yet we need both. The only solution to healthy communities is the practice of forgiveness. God's forgiveness, demonstrated fully in the Cross of Jesus.

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