As I was reading today – A thought from Deuteronomy 14


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Deuteronomy 15:1–6 (ESV)

1 “At the end of every seven years you shall grant a release. 2 And this is the manner of the release: every creditor shall release what he has lent to his neighbor. He shall not exact it of his neighbor, his brother, because the Lord’s release has been proclaimed. 3 Of a foreigner you may exact it, but whatever of yours is with your brother your hand shall release. 4 But there will be no poor among you; for the Lord will bless you in the land that the Lord your God is giving you for an inheritance to possess— 5 if only you will strictly obey the voice of the Lord your God, being careful to do all this commandment that I command you today. 6 For the Lord your God will bless you, as he promised you, and you shall lend to many nations, but you shall not borrow, and you shall rule over many nations, but they shall not rule over you.

There is wisdom here regarding forgiveness of all kinds. When the offender is a brother or sister in Christ – at some time, whether there has been full satisfaction or not, forgiveness ought to be extended. We may even perhaps see a shadow of Church discipline here, in that those who are “foreigners” do not get the benefit of such a release. Not that we are prevented from it, but it is not demanded by God as it is of our brethren. Those now counted as outside the Body of Christ due to their unrepentance, do not enjoy the very same benefit of those to whom we are joined by one Spirit. Yet the overall tenor is to be generous in our forgiveness. Time may need to be a factor. Some wounds are deep indeed – and may need a large swath of time to heal. But we must let time in fact be taken into account. If you have a brother or sister in the Lord, and the days have been long without forgiveness between you, consider a “seventh year.” Set a termination point. And even if it is not settled – forgive. That we might show the love of Christ He has shown to us.

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