FORGIVENESS IS OTHER-CENTERED
“Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.” (Ephesians 4:32)
In Matthew 18:21-35, Jesus shares a parable that points to our need to forgive because of the enormity of God’s forgiveness of us. In the story, a servant is forgiven for all his debt in one scene and in the next the same forgiven servant chooses not to forgive another servant.
This is bad enough, but what makes the story even worse is that the first servant was forgiven an amount that would take several lifetimes to repay, while the debt he refused to forgive was a miniscule fraction of what he was forgiven for. A “talent” represented 6,000 days of wages. 10,000 talents represented 60 million days of wages. If the average lifespan was 70, then it would take 857,142 lifetimes to repay the king. The one hundred denarii owed by the other servant equaled 20 weeks of a laborer’s wages. The comparison is staggering.
Jesus uses this story to confront us with the evil of an unforgiving spirit—how can we refuse to forgive a comparatively small offense against another person when God, through Christ, has forgiven every single sin we have ever or will ever commit?
When you forgive another person, you free them and yourself.
Our society seems to be filled with bitterness, which creates bondage for all involved.
As a believer, choose another path. Become counter-cultural. Forgive quickly and show others the same forgiveness Jesus has given you. As Colossians 3:13 says, “Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.”
LIVING OUT GOD’S BEST TODAY
Application of God’s Truth
Are you holding a grudge against someone? Meditate on the enormity of your sin and how God forgave it, then consider the smallness of the other person’s offense. Do you need to have a conversation with God and that person?