Lord, Increase our faith! Luke 17:5

Forgiveness is one of those areas where we look at scripture and frown. We sometimes winch as we read the Bible and see how much God forgives and how much He requires us to forgive.

Many have suffered the atrocities of others and have either become embittered or developed a spirit of forgiveness. Our ladies book club has recently read and discussed Corrie ten Boom’s The Hiding Place. This book chronicles the atrocities in the wake of the German invasion of Holland. (1942 family very active in Dutch underground hiding refugees. 1944 arrested with entire family, sent first to Dutch prisons, finally to notorious Ravensbruck in Germany.)

Desmund Tutu wrote a book in 2000 about the need to forgive and move on. He called his book, No Future Without Forgiveness. He describes the liberating power of confession in paving the way to freedom. Dietrich Bonhoffer suffered great inhumanities from the prison guards and the system that was so diabolical. Yet, he was able to move on within this suffering and write some of the greatest literature known to us today.

Terrible things have happened to people of our world and the call for forgiveness seems out of place. Most of us will not suffer such terrible atrocities. The little offences that have so upset us are trifling compared to the inhumanities of prison camps and deaths of loved ones.

Back to Luke 17: If he sins against you seven times in a day, and seven times comes back to you and says, ‘I repent,’ forgive him.” Little wonder that the disciples ask for an increase of faith. I sometimes do the same. Do You?