Reading: Matthew 18: 21-35 (Click to read text)
Reflection: Recently, I attended the Conflict Mediation Skills Institute training conducted by the Lombard Mennonite Peace Center. It was an intense week of learning more about how to mediate conflict when two people have issues with one another and when a congregation has issues that need mediating.
We talked about the theology behind conflict, looking at several passages in the Bible. This was one of them. Two things that I took away from the class was that (1) conflict is normal and everyone deals with it and (2) it is important to listen to one another to get an understanding of how the other person feels so that healing can take place.
Jesus reminds us in today's passage that we need to be forgiving. We need to listen to one another and be willing to continually forgive others for wrongdoings. We may not always agree, but we can "bury the hatchet" and put aside past misgivings.
What happens when you've forgiven someone 77 times? I would suspect that Jesus used that only as an illustration so that we know we need to forgive multiple times. After forgiving 77 times, I bet we'll be in a frame of mind to continue to listen, forgive, and let go. --Chad Hershberger, Camp Mount Luther Director
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