This week, my classes memorized Luke 17:3-4, one of Jesus' strongest teachings on forgiveness. Here it is: "So watch yourselves. If your brother sins, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him. If he sins against you seven times in a day and seven times comes back to you and says ‘I repent,’ forgive him.”I asked my eighth graders to discuss on paper if they think that teaching is practical or even possible to them. This is a sample of their responses with boys in blue and girls in purple.
"I believe it is possible to forgive seven times in a day. It just seems so far fetched and unrealistic in this life. God wants us to try and be like Him and He knows we are not perfect; He knows we mess up. But He wants us to be the best person we can be and show His Word through our lifestyle. We aren't perfect but we have to strive to be- not as a goal but as part of our spiritual lives." Evan
"To forgive someone seven times in a day is possible, mainly because some people don't know they are sinning until someone acknowledges it. As girls, we forgive each other seven times in a day and don't realize it. For instance, your best friend may say something about you that you don't want the guy you like to know. Of course, you are upset at her but you forgive and move on, right? As many "small" sins we commit in a day, others forgive us without thinking, so yes it is possible." Taylor S.
"I do think it is possible to forgive someone if they sin against you seven times in a day. It would be a lot easier if they were minor sins. But to do this task, you have to have a very humble and clean heart. If you get even the slighest bit angry it will make this task impossible because forgiving someone seven times in a day is hard. You can do it if you are slow to anger and quick to forgive, and just think about this: God forgives us way more than seven times a day." Stephen
"I do think its possible to forgive someone seven times in a day. Just because someone did something wrong to you doesn't mean it was a big thing. It's easy to forgive someone over little things. I know my friends and I forgive each other all the time. It would also be possible to forgive big things. Let's say if someone steps on my phone, hits me with a ball, throws my pen, trips me, calls me a name, draws on my paper, and marks me with a pen, even though that one person did seven mean things to me in one day, I could still forgive them." Jada
"I find that if someone does something to me seven times and it's something I don't like or enjoy, I would find it very hard to forgive them. I don't find myself in those situations often because no one ever bothers to be mean to me so I really don't know how I should react to it. Because I am a Christian, I try to do what God asks but this verse sets super high standards in trying to get some to do their best to try and reach the minimum. It's kind of like a dentist trying to get people to brush more by saying you need to brush four times a day in hopes of them brushing twice a day." Austin
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