And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. – Matthew 6:12 (NASB)
There are two evil twins. There names are “Resentment” and “Bitterness.”
We have a choice. We can hold on to hurt or we can release it.
Hurt people hurt people.
I need forgiveness.
I must forgive.
I will forgive.
Then Peter came and said to Him, “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.
“For this reason the kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who wished to settle accounts with his slaves. When he had begun to settle them, one who owed him ten thousand talents was brought to him. But since he did not have the means to repay, his lord commanded him to be sold, along with his wife and children and all that he had, and repayment to be made. So the slave fell to the ground and prostrated himself before him, saying, ‘Have patience with me and I will repay you everything.’ And the lord of that slave felt compassion and released him and forgave him the debt.
But that slave went out and found one of his fellow slaves who owed him a hundred denarii; and he seized him and began to choke him, saying, ‘Pay back what you owe.’ So his fellow slave fell to the ground and began to plead with him, saying, ‘Have patience with me and I will repay you.’ But he was unwilling and went and threw him in prison until he should pay back what was owed.
So when his fellow slaves saw what had happened, they were deeply grieved and came and reported to their lord all that had happened. Then summoning him, his lord said to him, ‘You wicked slave, I forgave you all that debt because you pleaded with me. Should you not also have had mercy on your fellow slave, in the same way that I had mercy on you?’ And his lord, moved with anger, handed him over to the torturers until he should repay all that was owed him.
My heavenly Father will also do the same to you, if each of you does not forgive his brother from your heart.” – Matthew 18:21-35
1. I need forgiveness. I will never have to forgive someone else more than I’ve already been forgiven by God.
2. I must forgive. Forgiving others leads to a cheerful heart. Refusing to forgive leads to bitterness.
A joyful heart is good medicine,
See to it that no one comes short of the grace of God; that no root of bitterness springing up causes trouble, and by it many be defiled. – Hebrews 12:15
Bitterness is contagious and has a generational curse.
Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you. – Ephesians 4:31-32
My heavenly Father will also do the same to you, if each of you does not forgive his brother from your heart. – Matthew 18:35
3. I will forgive. How? Let it go. Leave it with God. Live in God’s grace.
The photo credit for the main (top) image in this post goes to Ben White at Freely Photos.