Just Saying: The Power of Forgiveness
One of the greatest lessons in life is forgiveness. It is something that we all want but it is something that sometimes we are not willing to give to others. The problem here is that we are willing to ask for something that we are not willing to give ourselves. This is not only a character flaw in this world but in the next world as well.
We can see this illustrated with this passage from Matthew.
Matthew 18: 23-35
23 'And so the kingdom of Heaven may be compared to a king who decided to settle his accounts with his servants. 24 When the reckoning began, they brought him a man who owed ten thousand talents; 25 he had no means of paying, so his master gave orders that he should be sold, together with his wife and children and all his possessions, to meet the debt. 26 At this, the servant threw himself down at his master's feet, with the words, "Be patient with me and I will pay the whole sum." 27 And the servant's master felt so sorry for him that he let him go and canceled the debt. 28 Now as this servant went out, he happened to meet a fellow-servant who owed him one hundred denarii; and he seized him by the throat and began to throttle him, saying, "Pay what you owe me." 29 His fellow servant fell at his feet and appealed to him, saying, "Be patient with me and I will pay you." 30 But the other would not agree; on the contrary, he had him thrown into prison till he should pay the debt. 31 His fellow-servants were deeply distressed when they saw what had happened, and they went to their master and reported the whole affair to him. 32 Then the master sent for the man and said to him, "You wicked servant, I canceled all that debt of yours when you appealed to me. 33 Were you not bound, then, to have pity on your fellow servant just as I had pity on you?" 34 And in his anger the master handed him over to the torturers till he should pay all his debt. 35 And that is how my heavenly Father will deal with you unless you each forgive your brother from your heart.'
Questions this raises
Will we all have to give a final account of our actions here on earth to God in the hereafter?
Do we ask for forgiveness ourselves and yet do not give that same treatment to others?
If you answered yes, then you are probably interested in what Paul Harvey would say was the “Rest of the Story.”
Rest of the Story
This world will come to an end and we will face a final judgment for all of our actions here on earth. This idea is scary in and of itself because so many of us act one way and do something else. This is what happened in the passage. So you owed someone 10,000 dollars and you asked the person or business you owed the money to be patient and the money will come. They took pity on you and your situation and by some miraculous reason allowed you to pay out your loan way past the time, it was due, or better yet, they just forgave your debt entirely. You had been saved by financial ruin. Later that day or the next, you come across a similar situation. This time a person owes you 100 dollars and you will not forgive their debt, in fact, you force the man to give up his property to pay for the debt. You obtained by force property that was worth many times the debt that man owed you. When the first person ended hearing about your behavior what do you think he thought of you then? Could he not have done the exact same thing to you?
Christ willingly gave up his life so that we might all could live. He did this because he loved us. We could not pay him back for this even if we wanted to, but conversely, maybe we can share this care with our fellow man, May we follow His example and treat others the way we would like to be treated. Maybe we could practice forgiveness just like Christ has forgiven us. Amen