“This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother or sister from your heart.” Matthew 18:35
Jesus told a parable about a man who owed the king a lot of money. He was forgiven by the king and the debt was wiped out. Later the man had someone who owed him a little money. Because the person could not pay, he had that person put in prison. The king found out about it and put the man in prison because he was forgiven a lot and did not forgive a little.
At the end Jesus told the disciples that if they did not forgive from the heart, God would treat them in the same way as the king treated the man.
Forgiveness is something everyone wants, but many do not want to give. Little children are known for saying “I forgive you,” in a sarcastic way, not really meaning it. They are only saying it because the parent or adult told them to say it. The words do not come from the heart.
Although most people think of children doing this, adults do it on a regular basis also. Adults will change the words from “I forgive you,” to “it really does not matter,” or “it is ok.” Yet, under their breath they are seething with anger against the person. They take the person to court. They talk bad about that person to others. There is no forgiveness in their heart.
Think for a moment of what Jesus has forgiven you for. How many things have you done wrong to God? Keep in mind that every time you have sinned against God, that one sin is deserving of the punishment of death and abandonment from God for all eternity.
The thing that someone has done wrong to you, was it worthy of death and eternal punishment by you? If not, then why not forgive the person?
Be willing to forgive just as God has forgiven you. Forgive from the heart and truly mean what you say. When it is difficult to forgive someone, stop and think about what God has forgiven you for. Think of how many times God has forgiven you and accepted you back to Him.
Do not force God to have to punish you for not being willing to forgive someone from your heart. Show true love and forgive from the heart.
I pray today that you will know God’s love for you; that you will know what God has forgiven you of; that you will love others enough to forgive as God has forgiven you; and that many will know God’s forgiveness from your example.