3 “Take heed to yourselves. If your brother sins against you, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him. And if he sins against you seven times in a day, and seven times in a day returns to you, saying, ‘I repent,’ you shall forgive him.” (Luke 17:3–4, NKJV)
Isn’t it interesting that Jesus said to “take heed to yourselves” when someone sins against you? Our first impulse, when sinned against, is often to be on the alert and cautious toward the sinner. Or, we may focus on our hurt and pain the sinner caused. Yet, these reactions do not help us or the one who sinned against us. Jesus knew the difficulty of responding in godly ways when sinned against. He teaches two essential responses here. First, rebuke the sinner. This rebuke comes from a genuine concern for the sinner’s soul; an attempt to bring him to repentance. Second, do not withhold forgiveness from him when he repents. This can be even more difficult when sins are repeated against us. Yet, inasmuch as God repeatedly forgives our sins against Him when we repent, we must follow His example toward repentant sinners.