Advent Day 17: Read: Luke 17
In reading this chapter, it’s difficult to get past the first ten verses without pausing to think. Mostly because if there is one place we universally have difficulty, it is in extending radical forgiveness.
Not only does Jesus want us to practice prodigal love with one another, he also wants to see lavish, unmerited forgiveness. As a matter of fact, he says if someone comes SEVEN TIMES in one day having done the same thing every single time, we should forgive.
Then he tells a seemingly unrelated story about a servant and his/her master. That person should not expect to be thanked for doing their job. They should just do it knowing they are fulfilling their obligation. What does that have to do with forgiveness?
Everything! When we forgive someone, even if it is seven times a day, we are only doing our job!
Truth is though, if I forgive someone that often for the same offense, I think someone should say “thank you!” But Jesus says we are only doing our job. Our response should be, “I am an unworthy servant who is simply doing my duty!”
It’s likely we are all going to gather with family and friends over the next few weeks (if we haven’t already). There will be plenty of opportunity to be offended.
I think I will start this mantra: I am an unworthy servant who is just doing my duty! And let the offense float away like an unwanted balloon.
And that might make all the difference.