21 Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?” 22 Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times. 23 “Therefore, the kingdom of heaven is like a king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants. 24 As he began the settlement, a man who owed him ten thousand bags of gold was brought to him. 25 Since he was not able to pay, the master ordered that he and his wife and his children and all that he had be sold to repay the debt. 26 “At this the servant fell on his knees before him. ‘Be patient with me,’ he begged, ‘and I will pay back everything.’ 27 The servant’s master took pity on him, canceled the debt and let him go. 28 “But when that servant went out, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred silver coins. He grabbed him and began to choke him. ‘Pay back what you owe me!’ he demanded. 29 “His fellow servant fell to his knees and begged him, ‘Be patient with me, and I will pay it back.’ 30 “But he refused. Instead, he went off and had the man thrown into prison until he could pay the debt. 31 When the other servants saw what had happened, they were outraged and went and told their master everything that had happened. 32 “Then the master called the servant in. ‘You wicked servant,’ he said, ‘I canceled all that debt of yours because you begged me to. 33 Shouldn’t you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you?’ 34 In anger his master handed him over to the jailers to be tortured, until he should pay back all he owed. 35 “This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother or sister from your heart.” –Matthew 18:21-35 NIV
As believers we are called to be part of a new family—God’s family. And, as with any family, there may be members who intentionally hurt you in egregious ways. Yikes! What do we do? We forgive. Yep, forgive. And pray really hard for the person, right? Why? Because God’s very clear in this passage of Scripture. He forgave our egregious sins against Him, so who are we to hold someone else’s sin in our hearts?
And when we forgive, we remind our younger siblings in Christ of the power of our King, we remind them of how very much He wants us to live in harmony and how much He calls us to be different from the world. And perhaps, our example gives younger or weaker siblings the courage to move forward in a way they never thought possible—forgiving someone and finding a level of freedom and peace they couldn’t have imagined.
Yes, forgiveness can be hard. Yes, it’s a calling. Yes, it’s a gift. If you’re struggling, ask God to give you specific steps you can take to bring freedom not only to your soul, but possibly to the souls of those watching you.
Thank God for fully and completely forgiving your sin.
Ask Him if there’s someone you need to forgive, and ask Him for the strength and grace to fully forgive that person.
- Sunday | November 3 | Find God Through His Word - November 3, 2019
- Day of Thanks and Celebration | Saturday | February 2 - February 2, 2019
- Discover Purpose: Live for God According to Your Gifts | Friday | February 1 - February 1, 2019