Have you ever been offended by a “religiou s” person? Have you seen their faults, failures, and even blatant errors and thought of throwing in the towel? I know I have. I have been disappointed, and have no doubt disappointed others. I talk with many who feel this is the main reason they don’t want anything to do with God, or at least to associate with other “so-called” Christians. Of course, the pat responses of “nobody’s perfect” and “we’re all just sinners, saved by grace” don’t seem to appease the disappointment and hurt that lingers.
Interestingly, God knew that we would get hurt and feel frustrated, or even offended. Jesus said, “It is impossible that no offenses should come” (Luke 17:1). Knowing that this is the case, that offenses can’t escape us no matter how much we love God and love each other, it would seem reasonable to think that God would come up with a remedy. God is the master fixer, the ultimate healer, and since He formed us in His image, He knows exactly what we need.
Unfortunately, when we are hurt we often do not see God that way. Notice the response when Jesus exhorts the disciples to forgive no matter how many offenses should come in a day. They replied, “Increase our faith!” (Luke 17:5). Jesus directs His disciples to do something they couldn’t easily do on their own. Just as many of us have, the disciples found it difficult to grant the forgiveness needed to find true healing, but they knew they could trust the Healer.
God’s remedy is to trust Him in the things that we can’t do on our own. To forgive when we have been hurt, even when we are justified in our offense towards another, may require trusting God more. His divine plan of healing was put in motion when His Son died on the cross to forgive us of our offenses. Perhaps when forgiving others we must call on Jesus like the disciples did. “Jesus, increase our faith!”