Ever hear of families where one person won’t speak to another because of something that happened long ago? I bet that they don’t even remember what started it but they are sure that – the other one is to blame! Sad but true. Sadder still in the light of what Jesus said when He taught us the Lords’ Prayer – “For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses. Matthew 6:14-15 NKJV
Forgiveness isn’t an easy thing to do sometimes. Especially if we are sure that we are guiltless or wrongfully harmed by someones thoughtless actions. During a teaching Peter asked Jesus about forgiveness, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven times?” Matthew 18:21 NKJV Jesus illustrates the need for forgiveness after answering Peter like this – Jesus said to him,
“I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.Therefore the kingdom of heaven is like a certain king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants. And when he had begun to settle accounts, one was brought to him who owed him ten thousand talents. But as he was not able to pay, his master commanded that he be sold, with his wife and children and all that he had, and that payment be made.The servant therefore fell down before him, saying, ‘Master, have patience with me, and I will pay you all.’ Then the master of that servant was moved with compassion, released him, and forgave him the debt.“But that servant went out and found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii; and he laid hands on him and took him by the throat, saying, ‘Pay me what you owe!’ So his fellow servant fell down at his feet and begged him, saying, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you all.’And he would not, but went and threw him into prison till he should pay the debt.So when his fellow servants saw what had been done, they were very grieved, and came and told their master all that had been done.Then his master, after he had called him, said to him, ‘You wicked servant! I forgave you all that 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. Matthew 18: 22-35 NKJV
“So My heavenly Father also will do to you if each of you, from his heart, does not forgive his brother his trespasses.”
Unforgiveness hurts us as much as it hurts the object of our angry and all those around us. We are told that we should be angry but sin not Eph 4:26 NKJV. So its not the emotion of anger that’s harmful but rather what we do with the emotion. If we consider the debt we had, that Jesus wiped clean with His blood on the cross, it can not be so hard to forgive someone for whatever they may have done to us. Love keeps no record of wrongs and we are called to love one another. 1 Cor 13:5c HCSB and John 13:14 KJV
I doubt that any of us knows anyone who we would need to forgive 490 times each day (70×7) but the point here is that we can and should have an inexhaustible wealth of forgiveness towards our fellow man in the light of the forgiveness shown towards us. God bless you as you let the light of Gods love shine threw you today!