19 November 2013

Teachable Moments: A Forgiving Heart

Forgiveness is an amazing thing, but honestly it is the toughest thing I have ever had to work on. This year God revealed to me unforgiveness in my hear that I had buried, that I didn't even know was there. I'm glad that he showed it to me because it's something I need to deal with, but honestly it has been really hard. It isn't easy for me to let go of the hurt in my past and to let go of the people who inflicted the hurt. Yet I know it is what God is calling me to do. In fact, it is what he calls all of his sons and daughters to do. We must forgive. After all Christ forgave us, how can we not bestow that gift on the other people in our lives. I am reminded of the passage where Peter asks Jesus how many times he is to forgive his brother? 7 times? he asks. Jesus responds to Peter by saying, not 7 times, but 77 times. In other words, we are always to forgive everything. NO MATTER WHAT. No if, ands, or buts about it, no exceptions.

Matthew 18:21-35 tells us about what God expects from us regarding forgiveness...

The Parable of the Unmerciful Servant

21 Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?”
22 Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.
23 “Therefore, the kingdom of heaven is like a king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants. 24 As he began the settlement, a man who owed him ten thousand bags of gold was brought to him. 25 Since he was not able to pay, the master ordered that he and his wife and his children and all that he had be sold to repay the debt.
26 “At this the servant fell on his knees before him. ‘Be patient with me,’ he begged, ‘and I will pay back everything.’ 27 The servant’s master took pity on him, canceled the debt and let him go.
28 “But when that servant went out, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred silver coins. He grabbed him and began to choke him. ‘Pay back what you owe me!’ he demanded.
29 “His fellow servant fell to his knees and begged him, ‘Be patient with me, and I will pay it back.’
30 “But he refused. Instead, he went off and had the man thrown into prison until he could pay the debt. 31 When the other servants saw what had happened, they were outraged and went and told their master everything that had happened.
32 “Then the master called the servant in. ‘You wicked servant,’ he said, ‘I canceled all that debt of yours because you begged me to. 33 Shouldn’t you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you?’ 34 In anger his master handed him over to the jailers to be tortured, until he should pay back all he owed.
35 “This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother or sister from your heart.” 

Verses 32-35 hit me the most. I begged God to forgive me all my debts, how can I not then forgive those who are indebted to me. 

Lord, 
Open our hearts to be receptive to you. Help us to forgive those who have hurt us, no matter what. Amen

Because God forgave us, so we ought also to forgive one another.

Colossians 2:12-14 & Colossians 3:12-14

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