Matthew 18:35 This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother from your heart.
Question: How many times should I forgive?
Answer: As many times as it takes for you to realize that I forgave you first. (Karisa paraphrase)
(Matthew 18:21-35 Parable of the Unmerciful Servant)
As I step towards forgiving those who hurt my son, the first thing I am reminded of is that God chose to forgive me. Somewhere in the midst of court hearings, bad counseling, and heart ache I lost sight of the awe that God forgive me. I saw awe, because that is what I felt in the beginning. God loved me and forgave me a debt I could not repay. Little by little pride took over and now I have to repent of thoughts that I am somehow better than those who have caused my great sorrow. I am a liar, an adulterer, idol worshipper, thief and many other things that God poured out mercy over. At the heart of un-forgiveness is pride!
It easy to pick and choose who we want to see punished when their sins are unhidden, but scripture clearly states that ALL have fallen short of the glory of God and the punishment for sin is death. (Romans 3:23, Romans 6:23) Romans 6:23. In Jesus’ Matthew 18:21 parable he gives insight to how heaven treats forgiveness.
- God settles his account with all of us (vs. 23)
- He is just and will demand us to repay what we owe him (vs. 24)
- We all have a debt we cannot repay (vs. 25)
- It is God’s decision whether or not to extend us grace (vs. 27)
- He will not tolerate us squandering his mercy (vs.32)
- He expects us to be merciful to those who owe us debt they cannot repay because he forgave our debt (vs33)
- We are to forgive the sins of others from our heart (vs. 35)
In a world that emphasis revenge, forgiveness and mercy is unusual! Oh Lord make me unusual!