Then his master, after he had called him, said to him, ‘You wicked servant! I forgave you all the debt because you begged me. Should you not also have had compassion on your fellow servant, just as I had pity on you?” And his master was angry, and delivered him to the torturers until he should pay all that was due to him. So my heavenly Father also will do to you if each of you, from his heart, does not forgive his brother his trespasses.” ~Matthew 18:32-35
Forgiveness is a very hard subject to talk about. When someone wrongs you, deliberately hurts you or intentionally despises you, it’s very hard to forgive them. You may have given all financially or emotionally for that family member or friend to help them back on their feet. Or they may have asked for your last dollar or time that you didn’t have, to rescue them from trouble.
We all have been through a lot of the same stories. The same issues. The same people. Then it leads to anger…
But Peter asked Jesus in Matthew 18:21-22 “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven times? Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.”
I know it’s hard to imagine forgiving someone over and over and over and over and over and over and over again! But Jesus commands us to.
We cannot see or talk to God until we forgive our brother first. In the scripture above, Jesus clearly tells us that God will not have compassion for us if we don’t have compassion for our brother. He doesn’t approve of any sin and we are no better than our brothers and sisters who do. So when we ask God for forgiveness of our sins… we have to forgive first.
We know by now that no one is perfect, including us. We may be the ones always asking for help and then not repaying our debts that’s owed. We may be doing others wrong and not thinking that we are – out of selfishness. We may treat people who are less fortunate as less than human. But there’s probably been a time when you asked someone to forgive you and they did. We all make mistakes and are no better than the next – in God’s eyes.
We have to look at ourselves and do a better job. I have had a lot of people treat me badly, take my kindness for weakness, misuse and abuse me. And when I was young in the Lord, there was no way I would have forgiven them. But now that I’ve matured, the spirit of God constantly works through me -through prayer. He has made me a better person. Now I choose to forgive.
You can’t forgive by yourself. You need God to help you. And when you face another situation where you need to forgive that person, pray right then and there for God to intercede. You are only hurting yourself in the long run, because hatred and bitterness will eat you up and eventually kill you… God’s word tells us what to do for a reason. And because God always knows what’s best for us, I choose to forgive rather than be tortured. How about you?
Comment Question: Who do you need to forgive today?
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Be blessed, Wanda L. Ball~