Posted on: 13th May 2019
“For if you forgive others their sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.”
As a parent, I sometimes feel I should know more than I do, especially after having three children and the oldest being fourteen. But I don’t. Here is my top mistake – I ask my children what they think, when actually I know their choice is going to be wrong, or unattainable. For example, “What would you like for tea?” should have been, “Beans on toast or soup?” You know full well that when asked what they wanted, those two options were not top of the list.
Looking back at the children of Israel’s choice in Deuteronomy 30:15, I should have learned how to set a question. “See, I set before you today life and prosperity, death and destruction.” Really! Was that an actual choice? What would you choose? Have a look at the rest of the story to find out about the choice they made.
Fast forward to the new testament, the Lord’s prayer. Jesus asks us the question “Will you forgive others?”.
I can think of lots of examples of situations that seem to be unforgiveable. This is especially true when the person who has done the wrong shows no remorse or isn’t feeling sorry for their actions. How can you forgive someone who is not sorry? How could the people of Rwanda forgive their neighbours who killed their loved ones, just because they were form a different ethnic group?
But Jesus’ question about forgiveness didn’t really have a choice. Your forgiveness by God is directly affected by your willingness to forgive others. The consequences of not forgiving are not worth considering, but the blessing of forgiving others and being forgiven by God, makes forgiveness the only option.
My challenge this week is that you will find the ability and courage to deal with any forgiveness you may need in your life. If this is too difficult for you to face alone, find someone you trust and talk about it with them. It may be that you are the one wronged, or you may be the one who needs to say sorry.
Posted on: 22nd May 2017
“This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother or sister from your heart.”
Matthew 18 v 35
(The Parable of the Unmerciful Servant)
“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, his wife, 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, cancelled 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, went, and told their master everything that had happened. “Then the master called the servant in. ‘You wicked servant,’ he said, ‘I cancelled 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.”
Have you ever held a grudge? Alternatively, maybe you have had a grudge held against you and more over you have let it affect you and how you communicate with that person? Maybe you have seen a grudge in effect, as someone disagrees with a brilliant idea just because of the person who said it.
Grudges are often held when one person feels like someone else owes them something. Maybe they do owe them something like the story above and yet they keep that thought as a hold over the other person. Yet, the bible tells us to forgive.
Forgiving is giving up your right to hate or hurt the person who hurt you. It is about letting go of the stronghold or grudge over an area of your life, not allowing it to control how you see someone else or how you judge what they do.
This week as we think about forgiveness, remember what this story teaches us, that we are forgiven by our heavenly father, that we should forgive as we hope others will forgive us and that we shouldn’t keep hold of the grudges that control how we see others around us.