“Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you” (Eph. 4:32-33).
A parable was told by Jesus about a servant who owed his master so much and he could not pay back. His master was moved with compassion and cancelled his debt. But later that day, he accosted his colleague who owed him so little and demanded that he paid back. This incident was told to their master by some fellow workers who witnessed both the magnanimity of their master and the wickedness of this servant towards his colleague who owed him so little compared to what he owed his master. When their master heard this, he did not only reprimand the unforgiving servant but locked him up till he paid back what he owed that he initially cancelled (Matt. 18:23-35). Well, the master in this story is not a picture of God the Father. We know in the light of the New Covenant that when God gives, He does not find faults (Jam 1:5). Paul the Apostle says “Love does not keep record of wrongs and we know God is love” (1 Cor. 13:5 CJB; 1Jn 4:8). However, there is a major lesson we ought to learn from this parable and that was what the master expected from his unforgiving servant, we have been forgiven to forgive others.
All our sins have been forgiven according to the riches of His grace (Eph. 1:7). Forgiveness of sins is one of the biggest realities of Christianity. “For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more” (Heb. 8:12). He has forgiven and also said He would not remember them again. Based on the work of redemption which Jesus wrought with His blood, there is no more partition between us and the Father. When God looks at us now, He sees us in Christ. We are forgiven! Our sins are completely and totally wiped out! We stand justified, washed and sanctified.
However, it does not end here, we must not be like that servant in the story who was forgiven so much but couldn’t forgive a fellow servant’s debt. We have been forgiven so that we can forgive others also. What wrong can anyone do to you that can be compared to your own wrong against God? God’s forgiveness is not only a sacrifice for us, it is an example to us! Let go of that bitterness, do not allow that anger consume you. Be tender hearted, forgive same way you have been forgiven. Whenever someone offends you, let the forgiveness of your own sins in Christ overwhelm your mind. Forgiveness is a gift! Like I often say on this subject “It is for-give and not for-keeps” It is not forgiveness until you are willing to give it away. Just as we were forgiven before we ever committed a sin, we ought to forgive people before they offend us. Credit forgiveness into people’s accounts before they offend you, by so doing you are not heart broken. Learn to forgive people in advance.
Jesus prayed for those who had accused him wrongly on the cross “Father forgive them for they do not know what they are doing” (Lk. 23:34). The bad actions of men towards us like wrong accusations, maltreatment, physical and verbal abuses, etc are often done as a result of their lack of knowledge. If they had in sight, they would not have done what they did.
Forgiving others is not as easy as it is said, sometimes it takes a serious toll on our emotions, but we must remember we have the ability of the Spirit within us. We can indeed truly forgive and choose not to keep the record again just like our Father God did. Amen.
Say these words out loud:
I am a love child of a love God
I act like my Father because I have His nature
I forgive others same way I have received forgiveness of my sins from Him in Christ
No animosity is too big for me to let go
No offence is too small for me to hold against anyone
I make a deliberate choice to always forgive
I do not keep account of wrongs done to me
In Jesus’ Name