I love the scriptures!!! God spoke to Jacob at Beth-el. Does God speak to us today? I believe he does. We need to have "ears to hear" though, as Jacob obviously did. We read how he was affirmed Israel by the Lord once again and have a moment to ponder the power and meaning of names and their influence on those who bear them.
Peter asked the Lord how many times to forgive...seven? To which Christ replied, seventy times seven. Was he giving us a number or an attitude to follow? I believe it was an attitude and understanding that we are commanded to forgive all. (That does not mean that we put ourselves in harms way, it only means we forgive and pray for the offender and give him to God's mercies as we would want those we have offended to do for us.
There is a "Christian" idea that we should subject ourselves to harm if we are to be obedient to the instruction to forgive. This used to be more prevalent among women but I fear it is just as common among men now and it is so wrong. Among our children as well. Bullying should not be tolerated in any form and that can occur when we believe that abuse in any form is acceptable from others. It also shuts our mouth in defense of those we see being abused as well. Please let us teach by precept and by example the law of forgiveness as Christ taught it. IJN, amen.
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