Monday, November 23

WE MUST FORGIVE!

Scripture: Matthew 17-19

Matthew 18:34–35  Then the angry king sent the man to prison to be tortured until he had paid his entire debt. 

35 “That’s what my heavenly Father will do to you if you refuse to forgive your brothers and sisters from your heart.”

Observation

How often should I forgive someone?” Peter asks.  “Up to 7 times?”  Jesus answers, “No, Peter.  70 times 7!”  In other words, without limit.  Every time.  Then to reinforce this point, Jesus tells the striking story of a king who forgives a subject of a staggering debt—billions of dollars.  The subject then refused to forgive a fellow subject of a few thousand dollars, but had him thrown in jail.  The king was incensed, and rescinded his forgiveness of the first subject and threw him in prison to be tortured!  Then Jesus finished with v. 35, which should get our attention!  

“That’s what my heavenly Father will do to you if you refuse to forgive your brothers and sisters from your heart.”

  I don’t know if we’re to take this literally or figuratively (perhaps Jesus is using an extreme to make a point).  But either way, we can’t miss the point: WE MUST FORGIVE!  We have been generously forgiven; we can do less with others.

Application

This jumped out at me because of all the people who bother me right now: people who disagree with me politically, or spiritually, or practically.  Like most everyone else, I’ve been affected by 2020 and feel myself more on edge, more likely to react.  I need to forgive.  I need to let it go.  I need to not hold people’s faults (or differences) against them.  

Today, when someone comes to mind who has disappointed me, upset me or irritated me, I’m going to consciously choose to forgive them, to let it go, and pray God’s blessing on them.

Prayer: Lord, I want to forgive as generously as I’ve been forgiven.  I want to live free of anger, hurt, disappointment and bitterness.  I want to let it go.  Help me today!