Forgiveness & FreedomJanuary 27, 2014
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.” Matthew 18:21-22
After Peter asked about forgiveness, Jesus told a parable of a slave who owed his master $7.5 billion dollars (by today’s standards). Instead of throwing him into prison, “the lord of that slave felt compassion and released him and forgave him the debt” (Matthew 18:27).
But the slave who had just been forgiven a HUGE debt threw a fellow slave into prison when he couldn’t repay $2,054. When the master found out about this, he said, “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?” (Matthew 18:32-33).
Jesus is telling us to factor in how much He has forgiven us. Offenses will come—some deliberate, some unintentional—and they hurt. Yet, by the grace of God, we can forgive. Don’t be a doormat or gullible, but when you have compassion and you release and forgive someone, you are setting yourself free.
Pray this prayer:
“Father, I forgive even as You have forgiven me. I refuse to be skilled at bitterness. I choose today to bear no resentment—to forgive those who have despitefully used me. I thank You that the love of God is poured out in my heart through the Holy Spirit. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!”
Forgive – verb
1. To give up resentment against or stop wanting to punish (someone) for an offense or fault; pardon. 2. To relent in being angry or in wishing to exact punishment for (an offense or fault). 3. To absolve from payment of (a debt, for example). –The American Heritage Dictionary
God bless you!
Copyright © 2014 St. Louis Family Church. All rights reserved. No part of this article may be reprinted or distributed in any form without prior written permission of St. Louis Family Church. Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture references are from the New American Standard Bible (NASB) Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. “Forgive”- The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2013 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Web. 14 Jan. 2014.