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Taking Them Out of the Keychain: A Faith Challenge in Forgiveness

Today, I want to share with you a personal reflection that emerged from an inspiring sermon I heard on December 2, 2023. The central theme was the difficulty we face in forgiving those who have offended us and how we often prefer to distance ourselves from them rather than restore friendship.

Personally, I must admit that when I feel hurt or offended by someone, my initial reaction is often to withdraw rather than practice mercy. I realize that I tend to judge more easily than to show compassion. If I perceive that someone is repeatedly hurting me or not considering me, I tend to "take them out of the keychain," that is, to stop considering them as friends or significant companions in my life.

I remember the words of Jesus urging us to forgive in Luke 17:4 NIV: "Even if they sin against you seven times in a day and seven times come back to you saying, 'I repent,' you must forgive them." This makes me question my own attitude and leads me to the conclusion that excluding someone from my circle is not the solution Jesus taught.

The disciples, faced with Jesus' teaching on forgiveness, responded with an interesting request in Luke 17:5: "The apostles said to the Lord, 'Increase our faith!'" This passage makes me reflect on the importance of faith in this entire process.

So, what do I need faith for? Here are some ideas that come to mind:

1. Faith to believe that there is another way to see things.

2. Faith to believe that the person who offended me can change.

3. Faith to seek another truth besides my own.

4. Faith to believe that I can indeed forgive.

5. Faith to separate the sinner from the sin.

In summary, faith becomes an essential tool in our daily walk, necessary to avoid taking offense, to forgive, and to maintain meaningful relationships. Personally, through the process of inner healing, I have discovered that I also have responsibility for what I judge, and my soul has to give an account, regardless of whether the other person changes or not.

I hope these reflections also resonate in your hearts. We face a constant challenge, but with faith, we can overcome difficulties and learn to forgive in the way Jesus taught us.

Written by Celia Guevara de Preza, based on the sermon of December 2, 2023.

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