SHOULD I FORGIVE? Matthew 18:23-35
Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye. (Colossian 3:13)
I arrived early in my church to help set up for an even. A woman stood crying at the opposite end of the sanctuary. She’d been cruel and gossiped about me in the past, so I quickly drowned out her sobs with a vaccum cleaner. Why should I care about someone who didn’t like me? When the Holy Spirit reminded me how much God had forgiven me, I crossed the room. The woman shared that her baby had been in the hospital for months. We cried, embraced, and prayed for her daughter. After working through our differences, we’re now good friends.
In Matthew 18, Jesus compares the kingdom of heaven to a king who decided to settle his accounts. A servant who owed a staggering amount of money pleaded for mercy. Soon after the king canceled his debt, that servant tracked down and condemned a man who owned him far less than what he’d owed the king. When word got back to the king, the wicked servant was imprisoned because of his own unforgiving spirit (vv23-34) Choosing to forgive doesn’t condone sin, excuse the wrongs done to us, or minimize our hurts. Offering for forgiveness simply frees us to enjoy God’s underserved gift of mercy, as we invite Him to accomplish beautiful works of peace – restoring grace in our lives and our relationships.
PRAYER LINE: Lord, help us give our grievances to You so that You may turn them into something good. Make us ready to forgive completely and earnestly. Give us Your spirit of unity.
Forgiving others expresses our trust in God’s right to judge according to His perfection and goodness (ODB)