A Brother Who Sins Against You 15"If your brother sins against you, go and show him his fault, just between the two of you. If he listens to you, you have won your brother over. 16But if he will not listen, take one or two others along, so that 'every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses. 17If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, treat him as you would a pagan or a tax collector.
18"I tell you the truth, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.
19"Again, I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven. 20For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them."
The Parable of the Unmerciful Servant 21Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, "Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?"
22Jesus answered, "I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.

Has this ever happened to you? Were you hurt by a brother or sister in Christ? How did you handle it?
This happened to my daughter Jenifer and I, close to 2 years ago and we are still feeling the effects even though we followed "The Word" to a T.
We were looking for a contractor to help finish the upstairs bedroom. We needed a new window, room and closet door, painting the entire room and there was a missing shingle on the roof that was in need of repair because it was causing a small leak from rain.
I asked a friend at Church to recommend someone who was a member of our Church. He did and that person came up to me at the end of the service and asked me what I needed. Standing in the Church aisle, I told him and he quoted me a price right there.
He came to the house a few days later to peruse the room situation, seemed very confident and promised to be back in a few days. He did come to start the job with a down payment of 1/2 the job. After one day of work he asked for the other 1/2 saying that he and his family were in dire straits and he was desperate for the money. Of course, we trusted him, I know his wife and children, so we paid him.

From there it was all down hill.
He said he fixed the roof shingle, put on a new room and closet door, painted and replaced the window.
When Jenifer went upstairs to check the finished room it looked like an untrained nonprofessional did the work and the window looked as if it would fall out.
Needless to say we were devastated. We approached him and he looked puzzled as to why we were not pleased. When he did not want to correct his work after many phone calls and e-mails, I went to the Pastor of our Church. We arranged for a meeting between us, the contractor, and the Pastor. (3 people).
When that did not work, we arranged for a meeting between us, the contractor, the Pastor, the secretary of the Church and a Church Elder.
We met two times, he agreed to fix what he was supposed to.
Long story short, he "fixed" it but we were not happy. My 80 year old Dad came and really fixed it plus we got a window installer to replace the window again.
There was no money to hold back, since the contractor got 100%.
I was and still am very surprised how this situation hurt me so much. It seems that when we believe someone to be a brother or sister in Christ, we want to trust them as we would trust the Lord. When they hurt us, it is so much worse.
It makes it extremely difficult to trust again. The thing is that we have to look at everyone as individuals and learn to trust and love. The Lord tells us to forgive "77" times which to me, means always.

Could you forgive and trust again?

Comments (11)

On July 31, 2010 at 9:50 PM , Taylor said...

lovely etsy shop selected...

On August 1, 2010 at 6:11 AM , myeuropeantouch said...

Matthew, my favorite gospel....

Yes, I forgive all the time, even though it makes it hard to trust again. I will give anyone else the benefit of doing the right thing.

I forgive, but it does not mean I have to forget. I am just more cautious the next time, more descriptive of what I expect to be done.
And yes, I do believe 77 times means, forgive all the time...
Have a blessed Sunday...

On August 1, 2010 at 11:02 AM , Lynnsy said...

Thanks for listing one of my tree cards and I really appreciate you sharing that story. While I was reading it, I just cringed, feeling what you must of been feeling. But then your right, we are called to forgive no matter what. Yesterday I was talking to my sister about forgiveness and she suggested that if we are in a situation when someone wrongs us and we need to confront them that we should always forgive them first before we talk to them. I thought that was good advice. So often we confront someone and forgive them after they say sorry. but if we forgive before we approach them, we would certainly approach the situation with humility and not get angry if their response wasn't the best.

Anyway, thanks for sharing this story Sue.
Have a wonderful day!


On August 1, 2010 at 12:56 PM , pfd said...

Sue, this is such a good story to share because we all assume that every "Christian" will perform perfectly but we are all sinners and unfortunately cannot always be trusted. Forgiveness, to me, is a continuing process that we are not fully able to do without God's help. And like your great example, we just keep seeking Him to help us be healed and continue to work on it.

On August 1, 2010 at 2:33 PM , Princess Daffy said...

As Christians, we are required to forgive, just as we have been forgiven. This is not optional.

I don't know about a time frame for this to happen in, but I have always found, the sooner the better-for all involved!
xoxoxo, Daffy

On August 1, 2010 at 2:37 PM , KippysSoMature said...

Sue - you said it :O) and you thought once you had nothing to share ;) Praise Him!!!
May we each keep growing in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ

Lord Jesus knows all about friends and people "in Him" who abuse and hurt; it happened to Him

On August 1, 2010 at 2:42 PM , Alesha said...

Ah, Sue...such an important Bible principle, but boy! It's a hard one to live out sometimes, isn't it?

I can say with my head and my mouth, "oh yes. I can forgive," but when the Lord brings to mind that brother or sister who has offended me, are my first thoughts those of forgiveness? Some times...but not always.

We are an ongoing project of Christ's. He is continually conforming us to His image. I'm glad He doesn't give up on me when I fail to practice His principles. And I'm really so grateful for the times He gently leads me into obedience to them! I can't do it without Him.

Thank you for this thoughtful post. It has reiterated some things in my life that the Lord is working on. :)


On August 1, 2010 at 3:36 PM , Sheryl at Hand Painted Petals said...

How unfortunate! It's so difficult to know whom to trust. The man wore the label of "Christian" but isn't at heart. There is no way you could have known; perhaps that is the lesson for you. Perhaps he'll come to his senses and embrace Christian principles soon.

On August 2, 2010 at 8:03 AM , Anonymous said...

Lovely listings. And a good reminder to forgive!

On August 2, 2010 at 9:43 AM , ZudaGay said...

We expect the best out of fellow believers and it does hurt when they let us down. But, we do need to forgive, but we are to learn as we go as well and some people just aren't trustworthy whether they wear the name of Christ or not.

On August 2, 2010 at 9:45 PM , Donna said...

Thank you for sharing.