Be on your guard! If your brother sins, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him. And if he wrongs you seven times in one day and returns to you seven times saying, ‘I am sorry,’ you should forgive him.” ~Luke 17:3-4
Biblical examples abound regarding our Christian responsibility to be forgiving — not only that but to keep on forgiving. In the example above in Luke, forgiveness is only predicated on the contrition of the one who wronged us. Contrary to common, prideful logic we need to be open to keep on forgiving. Unfortunately, sometimes that means not shutting people who offend us out of our lives.
This is how God deals with us: “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins . . .” (1 John 1:9) The blood of Jesus Christ, God’s Son, cleanses us from all sin. (1 John 1:7)
Conversely, in our lives as Christians, we have a responsibility to apologize if We have actually done something to hurt someone else and seek forgiveness and reconciliation. Hurt feelings must be met with reasoned, fact-based communications, and apologies if we have indeed done something wrong.
However, We are not responsible for someone else’s feelings. Generally speaking, people can choose to be offended or not, we are not required to apologize because of another’s perceived offense. No, we should not go out of our way to offend others. However, the love of God and Neighbor should compel us to both truth and honesty, especially in areas of faith and morals.
In our families and among other Christians we have a responsibility to speak the truth in love, not in anger or spite. We need to teach our children that there really is something called sin, and that truth is not relative. We must also raise our children to be forgiving people.