There are words that we utter with all ease. And there are words that are hard to say. The three words above is an example. In truth, it is not easy to forgive.
Peter was faced with the same dilemma. Hence one day, he asked Jesus. Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Till seven times? (Matthew 18:21)
Jesus gave him this reply. I say not unto you till seven times but until seventy times seven. (v.22)
We must forgive not just once but as often as we get hurt. Or shall we say over and over again.
We cannot equate forgiveness with math or logic. Instead we can only equate it with grace. To explain this, Jesus told a parable about an unforgiving servant. (vv. 21-35)
A certain king came to settle the accounts with his servants. One who owed him ten thousand talents was not able to pay. He demanded this servant to be sold and his family so that payments can be made. But he begged the king to have mercy on him, and promised he would pay him all. The king had compassion on him and forgave him the debt.
Then the same servant went out and found a fellow servant who owed him a hundred denarii. He got him by the throat and would not let him go unless he pays him. But his fellow servant has no money to pay. Really mad at him, he sent him to jail. The king learned of what he did and he was so furious. Thus he delivered him to torturers until he should pay all that was due him.
So My heavenly Father also will do to you if each of you, from his heart, does not forgive his brother his trespasses, Jesus ended.
The Lords parable says many things. Slavery was a means to pay dues. The Hebrews were doing it before according to their law. (Leviticus 25:39). The two thousand talents generally speak of the large sum of sin that Gods creation had done before Him. The hundred denarii speak of the little sum of sin man does against his fellow. The torturers speak of the anguish God gives to him who does not forgive.
We hurt God each time we sin. There is no other who is so much hurt but Him. Other people will sin against us and we will be hurt. Yet the pain we will feel is nothing compared to the pain we give to Him whenever we sin. But He forgives us whenever we ask for it. So why is it hard to forgive those who also sin against us? We should not be vindictive. God will not condone any act of revenge. Be it passive or active.
It must be hard to forgive. But it must be harder not to forgive. We make life hard on us when we refuse to forgive. We must come to realize that all of us would need at different times to forgive and to be forgiven as well.
Again, lets hear from Jesus.
Whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses. But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father in heaven forgive your trespasses. (Mark 11:25-26)
1. Has someone hurt you? How long have you been hurt by that person? Take time to ponder on Gods forgiveness. Jot down what it tells you.
2. Have you hurt somebody? When do you plan to ask for his forgiveness and settle the matter with him? What delays you from doing so?
To forgive is to be set free.