"Thoughts on Forgiveness from my Priority Time" - 2013/01/29 - published
When you read Matthew 18:21-35 in the New Testament, you discover a wonderful parable from Jesus about forgiveness. Jesus is answering Peter's famous question, "How many times should I forgive my brother when he sins against me?" Peter offers a possible answer, "Seven times?" In response, Jesus lays out the parable of the master and the servant. It goes like this… The Master is attempting to settle accounts with his servants. He discovers one servant owes him a ridiculous amount of money, "ten thousand talents." This is essentially like Jesus saying a bazillion dollars! The servant pleads for mercy and the master forgives the debt. Just minutes later the same servant throws his own friend in debtors prison for being unable to pay the modern day equivalence of $12,000. The onlookers report this back to the Master and the Master is seriously disappointed. He calls the servant back in and retracts his original forgiveness and throws the servant in jail. Jesus then tell His listeners that this is how we are to forgive.
A few thoughts…
- Forgiveness is serious business to God.
- Forgiveness is a very difficult for man.
- No doubt we all struggle to forgive the way Jesus calls us to forgive.
- Jesus requires immediate and complete forgiveness toward those who offend us.
- Jesus' teaching on forgiveness seeks to establish God's forgiveness in us and among us.
- Forgiveness is an "on earth as is it in Heaven" type of teaching.
- As fallen people, our forgiveness will always lack the perfection of Jesus' forgiveness, so grace is applied.
- However, GRACE never lowers the standards of God.
- GRACE in our imperfect forgiveness should cause us to strive for more immediate and more complete forgiveness all the time.
- Forgiveness is the essential ingredient for sinners to have successful relationships.
- We struggle to forgive because we see our selves as victims of an offense.
- Jesus seeks to keep us ever mindful of the reality that we more culprits (against Him) than victims (of someone else).
- Jesus wants to replace the victim mentality with the reality check of my own guilt, His grace and genuine gratitude that makes me willing to forgive.
- My own forgiveness should reframe any and all offenses I suffer from on account of others.
- Forgiveness does NOT equal trust or reconciliation, but it does disable the ongoing destructive power of a particular offense.
I hope these thoughts challenge you and even inspire you to pursue forgiveness in your life. I would love to hear your thoughts.
Please post your thoughts here.
If you want to learn more - please watch my message on forgiveness from the Tightrope series here
To learn more about the Priority Time Challenge - click here