….Or easy. Or, I think, something we can do on our own. We all want justice. Revenge. We want payback. But Jesus commands us to forgive. No “Unless this” or “except for that”, or even “if they do this”. Forgive, as our father has forgiven us. In fact, in the Lord’s prayer, Jesus is instructing us to ask God to forgive us AS WE FORGIVE OUR DEBTORS. Wow – I’m in trouble……
From Matthew 18….
Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he 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 talents 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.
“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 denarii. 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 you 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 greatly distressed 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 turned 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 from your heart.”
Lord – please help me to truly forgive those who have wronged me, or have offended me in some way. Not to just forgive in motion – but I ask for a real change in my heart. Lord, you forgave EVERYTHING we ever did and do to you, and what has been done to me pales in comparison. Still – I cannot do this on my own. I thank you that your grace will give me strength to do that which i cannot.