Thursday, May 14, 2009


But first, a story:

Then Peter came up and said to him, "Lord, how often will my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?" Jesus said to him,
"I do not say to you seven times, but seventy times seven.

"Therefore the kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who wished to settle accounts with his servants. When he began to settle, one was brought to him who owed him ten thousand talents. And since he could not pay, his master ordered him to be sold, with his wife and children and all that he had, and payment to be made. So the servant fell on his knees, imploring him, 'Have patience with me, and I will pay you everything.' And out of pity for him, the master of that servant released him and forgave him the debt. But when that same servant went out, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii, and seizing him, he began to choke him, saying, 'Pay what you owe.' So his fellow servant fell down and pleaded with him, 'Have patience with me, and I will pay you.' He refused and went and put him in prison until he should pay the debt. When his fellow servants saw what had taken place, they were greatly distressed, and they went and reported to their master all that had taken place. Then his master summoned him and said to him, 'You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt because you pleaded with me. And should not you have had mercy on your fellow servant, as I had mercy on you?' And in anger his master delivered him to the jailers, until he should pay all his debt. So also my heavenly Father will do to every one of you, if you do not forgive your brother from your heart."

The basis a Christian person has for forgiving others is the forgiveness he personally experiences in Christ. The debt we owed to God is infinitely greater than the debt anyone could owe us. The penalty we owed was eternal death; instead, we get eternal life. That is why the degree to which we have been forgiven is so much greater than the degree to which we could forgive anyone else. What can anyone do to us, that we could ever compete with God in forgiving? As Paul says in Romans 8:18: "For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us."

The question for you is the reality of forgivenness in your life. If you truly believe God has forgiven you, this should give you the strength to forgive. It is a process of course; the more God works in our life, the more we see our utter sinfulness without Him, and just how much forgiveness our reconciliation to God required. But if this is just too far off, too lofty of an idea to base our forgiveness of others on in this "real" world, you may need to question how "real" the grace of God is in your life. "Therefore I tell you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven—for she loved much. But he who is forgiven little, loves little." - Luke 7:47

If you are in Christ, forgive others as you have been forgiven. It will be an investment of confidence in God, like tithing or obeying any other call of God; surrending what is "ours" (in this case, our "right" to be angry) in confidence that what God says is true.


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