The Curse of Unforgiveness
Thank You, Jesus, for fully canceling my debt of sin. Help me never forget how much it cost You for me to be forgiven.
Read Matthew 18:21-35
 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?”  Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.  “Therefore, the kingdom of heaven is like a king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants.  As he began the settlement, a man who owed him ten thousand bags of gold was brought to him.  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.  “At this the servant fell on his knees before him. ‘Be patient with me,’ he begged, ‘and I will pay back everything.’  The servant’s master took pity on him, canceled the debt and let him go.  “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.  “His fellow servant fell to his knees and begged him, ‘Be patient with me, and I will pay it back.’  “But he refused. Instead, he went off and had the man thrown into prison until he could pay the debt.  When the other servants saw what had happened, they were outraged and went and told their master everything that had happened.  “Then the master called the servant in. ‘You wicked servant,’ he said, ‘I canceled all that debt of yours because you begged me to.  Shouldn’t you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you?’  In anger his master handed him over to the jailers to be tortured, until he should pay back all he owed.  “This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother or sister from your heart.” Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, NIV Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectIs God speaking to you today?
“Resentment is like taking poison and hoping the other person dies” (Augustine of Hippo). Offense can quickly fester into unforgiveness in our hearts–a state completely at odds with living righteously in loving community (cf. Jas. 1:20; Heb. 12:14,15). Jesus had earlier said plainly, “If you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins” (6:15). The message of this parable is clear–our lack of forgiveness to others can endanger our own relationship with God.How does Peter’s question show that he’s starting from too narrow a place concerning forgiveness (21)? What have we discovered already this week from Jesus regarding true greatness that applies here too (3,4)? Humility takes on an epic quality in the life of Christ in terms of forgiveness (Luke 23:33,34). He did not protest about injustice or his rights when facing wrongful execution, and yet he is sovereign Lord! We haven’t been transformed by the freedom of the Gospel if we can love the sufficiency of God’s grace to forgive us while wanting to deny it to others.
“Forgive as the Lord forgave you” (cf. Col. 3:12-14). Ask him to help you if it seems impossible.
My Jesus, You paid such a price. Thank You that You take seriously the wrongs done against me. In You I can forgive.
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