The context for Luke 17: 4“And if he sins against you seven times a day, and returns to you seven times, saying, ‘I repent,’ forgive him.” 5The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith!” 6And the Lord said, “If you had faith like a mustard seed, you would say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and be planted in the sea’; and it would obey you.
Though I think I knew it, I never connected with the fact that the disciples said “Increase our faith!” in regards to forgiving others. Such gentleness and kindness is ordinarily beyond me, but I need Christ to treat others not just kindly, but as created people with innate value whom He loves. People come with baggage, pain, regrets, and selfishness amongst other things (so do I). Still, none of it should affect how we treat people. We do not compromise standards or approve of what God has said is wrong in the Bible, but we still love as God would. I am not naturally gentle, I am not always oozing with kindness, nor am I friendly in all situations, it is hard to trust God for his provision in ministry and life, and it can be really hard to forgive others when I am wronged. Lord! Increase my faith!