Chinaemerem Joshua Ibezim
This is me, thinking out loud. I hope it blesses someone.
Is it okay to judge or label a person by one or a few bad actions exhibited by them?
Paul and Barnabas once had a "fight" because of John Mark. John Mark abandoned them at a time they needed him, and Paul didn't think such a person should be taken back into their company. Paul was unwilling to give him another chance. But Barnabas looked past the hurt and saw a useful assistant. I guess he chose to focus on John Mark's strengths rather than on his weaknesses. Later we read that Paul asked for John Mark, saying he was profitable. What if Barnabas didn't give him another chance?
Peter denied Jesus thrice. Onesimus stole from Philemon his boss and ran away. Sarah gave Hagar to Abraham as a second wife because she didn't have children, and when Hagar had Ishmael she became proud and despised Sarah. They were all given "another chance".
The first time, Absalom killed his brother, David's son, and was forgiven. The second time he wanted to kill David his father, and yet David said to Joab as they prepared for war, “Do this for me: Be gentle with young Absalom!” David was willing to give Absalom as many chances as possible!
That's true love! The willingness to give each other many more chances.
In life, we will be hurt and disappointed by our best friends, our children, bosses, parents and even spouses. At such times it's really difficult to love, to "forgive and forget": that's when our love is really tested, and we truly get to understand true love as a choice and a decision rather than feelings based on false assumptions. Then, and only then, will we be willing to give people chances as many as seventy times seven times.