A college professor was listening to students make their presentations. When one student began his talk, the teacher abruptly stopped him and told him he was holding his book in the wrong hand. “Take the book in your right hand and be seated.” The young man held up his right arm to reveal that he did not have a right hand. For a moment, the teacher was dumbfounded. Then slowly he made his way to the student, put his arm around him, and with a tear in his eye, said, “I am so sorry. I never knew. Please forgive me?” The student forgave him and never forgot the teacher’s humility. The Bible is clear that God wants us to forgive and seek forgiveness when we offend. According to Matthew 18:21, Peter asked Jesus how many times he should forgive his brother—seven times? Jesus replied, “No, not seven, but 70 times seven.” That many times may seem pointless until we reflect on how frail we are. The memory of people who offend us often keeps cropping up in our minds, so we need to forgive them each time it crops up! Of course, forgiveness does not mean we justify abuse; but it allows us to heal while leaving revenge to God. Since tempers can flare up so easily and break relationships, we should remember what Jesus taught, “Forgive others and you will be forgiven.” An African proverb also says, “He who forgives ends a quarrel.”
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