Dear reader, today we’ll address a very important topic, and I pray in my heart that this article will help you reach greater spiritual maturity.
Matthew 18:23-35 tells the story of a servant who owed ten thousand denarius (pieces of money) to his master. Having no way to pay it, the servant and his family are doomed to be sold into slavery.
That man prostrates himself before his master and pleads for mercy. He asks him to be patient and not to do such evil! The master, moved with compassion, forgives the debt and grants him freedom. But upon leaving his master, the man meets a fellow servant who owed him only a hundred denarii. Without thinking about what had just happened, the servant “grabbed him around the throat and said, ‘Pay me back what you owe me’”. That poor man begged him saying, ‘Be patient with me, and I’ll pay you back.’ The servant refused to listen and threw him into prison. Then, his master finds out what happened and calls him to his presence to rebuke him for such a lack of mercy and say to him: I have forgiven all your debt, “Shouldn’t you also have mercy on your fellow servant, just as I had mercy on you?’” He then handed the servant over to the guards until his debt was paid.
This story presents the important role of forgiveness in a peaceful and happy life. Through many accounts in the Bible and situations in our daily lives, we realize how liberating it is to forgive.
Forgiveness has the power to offer us psychological and, above all, spiritual freedom. Not to mention how much it purifies and transforms our heart because forgiveness is only offered when there is love. And that’s what makes us better people. Forgiveness brings more benefits to those who forgive than to those who receive it.
I want to share with you what Ellen White tells us about this:
God’s forgiveness is not merely a judicial act by which He sets us free from condemnation. It is not only forgiveness for sin, but reclaiming from sin. It is the outflow of redeeming love that transforms the heart. David had the true conception of forgiveness when he prayed, “Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.” Psalm 51:10. And again he says, “As far as the east is from the west, so far hath He removed our transgressions from us.” Psalm 103:12.Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing, p. 114
Here we see how God’s forgiveness contributes to our freedom from sin and makes our hearts overflow with love. Forgiveness involves grace—forgiving even if the other doesn’t deserve it.
In Matthew 6:14-15 we read the following:
If you forgive others their sins, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you don’t forgive others, neither will your Father forgive your sins.
In this verse, we learn that forgiveness is conditional. To receive God’s forgiveness, we must first forgive those who have offended us, even if that person, in our eyes, doesn’t deserve forgiveness.
He who is unforgiving cuts off the very channel through which alone he can receive mercy from God. We should not think that unless those who have injured us confess the wrong we are justified in withholding from them our forgiveness. It is their part, no doubt, to humble their hearts by repentance and confession; but we are to have a spirit of compassion toward those who have trespassed against us, whether or not they confess their faults. However sorely they may have wounded us, we are not to cherish our grievances and sympathize with ourselves over our injuries; but as we hope to be pardoned for our offenses against God we are to pardon all who have done evil to us.Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing, p. 113-114
Reader friend, I pray to our Heavenly Father that He will show us each day how to forgive seventy times seven (Matthew 18: 21-22) and how forgiveness brings freshness to the soul when we truly forgive.
We must always keep in mind something very important:
- Families that forgive are happier;
- Forgiving friends are more selfless;
- Couples who forgive, are more understanding in their relationships
- People who practice forgiveness, feel more love for others;
- Finally, forgiveness offers us so much more freedom and peace than any other reasoning could offer.
I conclude by asking you to make an effort to not be like that servant who was forgiven but had no mercy to forgive! Forgiveness has brought you freedom, but the lack of it has brought distress.
The one thing essential for us in order that we may receive and impart the forgiving love of God is to know and believe the love that He has to us.Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing, p. 115
May the love of God be our inspiration to forgive, and may He be always in our hearts!