Scripture Nugget 2.18.2017
Scripture Read Matthew 17-20
Nugget Matthew 18:15, 21-22
“‘If another member of the church sins against you, go and point out the fault when the two of you are alone. If the member listens to you, you have regained that one.’ … Then Peter came and said to him, ‘Lord, if another member of the church sins against me, how often should I forgive? As many as seven times?’ Jesus said to him, ‘Not seven times but, I tell you, seventy-seven times.’”
Devotional thought: Holding others (holding self) accountable is vitally important to ongoing life in the church. Obedience to standards set by God for community in the church is needed for agreement. Each one cannot write their own rules, for we would certainly never come to consensus. When we allow another, when others allow me to sin, to break the rules, to be less than obedient, to not do what is best for the greater good then we have created a new standard. Calling another out, in love, early, keeps things from getting out of control. Not confronting them often leads to more and more disobedience, until there is chaos and confusion. Jesus goes on to tell us how to resolve conflict in verses 16 and 17 and the consequences in 18 and 19. Regardless how far the process goes and how many are needed to make the process work the absolute key required is forgiveness. I/you/we must be willing to forgive and forgive and forgive; Jesus says, “seventy-seven times”. Seven being the number of perfection, this means we are to forgive 10 x perfection plus seven more perfections – that’s a lot of forgiveness! How more accepting will someone be when held accountable (called out) when they are also forgiven (called up)? Oh Lord forgive my un-forgiveness, forgive my hesitancy to hold myself and others accountable to higher standards set by you, and those we covenant to keep as members of the church.