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I have been reading in the book of Matthew lately. Today I read chapter 18 and had “one of those moments” when I read verses 21-35. Jesus answered Peter’s question about “forgiveness” and told a parable to illustrate it. To save space please CLICK HERE to read this portion of Scripture from the Amplified Bible. IF YOU ARE READING this sentence, and you did NOT click that link or read it in your own Bible, then STOP and read it. I want you to get the whole idea here.
So, now that you have read it, what do you think about that servant? What do you think about those monetary figures? Here the guy is pardoned for a $10,000,000 million dollar debt and then holds a grudge, or, has bitterness and unforgiveness for the guy that owed him $20 bucks! What is up with that??? You would think he would be a little more grateful for the HUGE debt removal from his life. But instead, he used his LIBERTY, his FREEDOM to keep his bitter heart towards someone who owed him a mere pittance of a fine. After reading this, and seeing the outcome of “being turned over to the torturers” I have to ask myself, “Was it REALLY worth it?” And that is what I ask you today…Is that bitterness towards the people who you feel “owe” you something really worth it? Is the unforgiveness something that is soooooooooooo hard to let go of that it’s worth being turned over to the torturers? Me personally, I say, “LET IT GO.” After all, with the amazing amount of forgiveness and mercy God has shown to me, it seems right to let that same forgiveness and mercy flow THROUGH me. “But Pastor Kevin, you have no idea what that person did to me!” You are right, I don’t know, but Jesus does. And yet He still says through these verses…forgive. In fact, He said to forgive them 70 X 7, so 490 times. Jesus would never tell us to do that if it were not possible for us to obey it. All it takes is a choice. Make the choice to forgive. Give that person and what they did to Jesus. Then, let HIM work it all out. Give HIM the person, the hurt they caused, the resentment, the bitterness, all of it. You will know you have totally given it to the Lord when you can see that person in the grocery store and NOT turn and run down another isle to avoid them. Ouch! Trust me, obeying and following this parable may take some intense surrender on our part, but it has to be better than being turned over to the torturers.
Watch what Pastor Greg Laurie has to say about this….
If you are reading this devotion in some type of a MS Word program or anything with spell-check you will notice the word “unforgiveness” is underlined. Why is that? Is it misspelled? No. The problem is that the word “unforgiveness” is NOT even a word! It is not in the dictionary at all!!! It’s also not found in any of my 16 translations of the Bible. Go figure. I am staying away from a word (and the act and emotions behind it) that isn’t even acknowledged by the world or by God. What about you? Leave us all a comment and let us know your thoughts.