Today’s readings: Jonah 1:1-17a; 1 Corinthians 10:15–24; Matthew 18:15–20
Matthew West sings a poignant song titled “Forgiveness” in which the lyrics say:
It’s the hardest thing to give away
And the last thing on your mind today
It always goes to those who don’t deserve
It’s the opposite of how you feel
When the pain they caused is just too real
It takes everything you have to say the word
Though the words in our gospel lesson give specific instructions on how to approach someone who has sinned against us, it is a difficult path that Christ commands. Forgiveness is at the heart of our Christian walk. We pray time and again, “…forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those…” in the Lord’s Prayer. Yet, do we mean it? It is God’s desire that we forgive and reconcile, just as he has reconciled the world to himself.
Then, if once you have given that person all that God commands and no reconciliation occurs, you must not dwell on that rejection of forgiveness. It is one of the costs of discipleship. Jesus said on the cross, “Father forgive them, for they know not what they do.” (Luke 23:34) It is our turn. Forgiveness!
Prayer: Lord, make “forgiveness” my new middle name. Amen.
Today’s devotion was written by Randy Conley, Pastor of Hope Lutheran Church in Hubbard Lake, MI.
* Written by Matthew West, Matthew Joseph West • Copyright © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc, Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLCq