Daily D – Luke 17:4
Luke 17:4 “Even if that person wrongs you seven times a day and each time turns again and asks forgiveness, you must forgive.” (NLT)
Our younger granddaughter spent the weekend with us. It was wonderful. She is such a delight. Like all little ones her age, just over a year old, she is learning new words. She added a couple of new ones while she was with us.
She awoke earlier than normal on Saturday morning. My bride and I dozed a bit as she squirmed and wiggled and sang. She entertained herself with endearing babble. After fifteen minutes or so, she said the one word that caused me to leap from my sleep and hurry to her side. That word? “Granddad!”
Wee ones have to practice even the simplest of words for days and weeks to get them just right. They learn words in context. They enjoy mastering new speech and the communication it empowers.
Parents, grandparents, and daycare workers enjoy helping little ones learn and master even the most rudimentary words.
We have much less patience with full-sized people. Their failures often feel like an affront, an insult, and an irritation. Our attempts at correction frequently make things worse rather than better.
Why is it so easy to babble with a baby and so hard to reason with someone who ought to know better by now?
What does Jesus say to those of us who must bear the foolishness and carelessness of teenagers and adults? He tells us our irritability and aggravation are more about us than the offenders. He tells us to manage our expectations.
Only once in all of human history past or to come has one final act of forgiveness solved every problem. Jesus’ death on the cross made possible the forgiveness each of us requires and desires.
Daily forgiveness is necessary when we live with those who have outgrown the cuteness of language learning. It is necessary when teenagers push and exceed every boundary. It is necessary when coworkers, drivers, and athletes fail to perform up to our standards. It is necessary when we reflect on our day hoping to only confess one or two not-so-nice things and remembering a dozen more.
If you read this whole chapter, you will notice Jesus teaching his disciples again and again to manage expectations, to forgive others as extravagantly as God has forgiven you, and how obedience produces rewards, and not the other way around.
I will make my life better by managing my expectations of others, by forgiving without limits, and by obeying whatever God asks.
Our Father, empower me to manage my expectations of others. Give me grace for every offense. Alert me to my own offensive behavior. Strengthen me to do whatever you say. In other words, help me get out of my own way. Amen.
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Romans 2:4 Don’t you see how wonderfully kind, tolerant, and patient God is with you? Does this mean nothing to you? Can’t you see that his kindness is intended to turn you from your sin?
Acts 18:24-26 Meanwhile, a Jew named Apollos, an eloquent speaker who knew the Scriptures well, had arrived in Ephesus from Alexandria in Egypt. He had been taught the way of the Lord, and he taught others about Jesus with an enthusiastic spirit and with accuracy. However, he knew only about John’s baptism. When Priscilla and Aquila heard him preaching boldly in the synagogue, they took him aside and explained the way of God even more accurately.