21 Then Peter came to Him and said, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven times?”
Today’s Inspiration: Before we usher in Chinese New year, let us take stock of all those we have not forgiven and pluck up the courage to forgive. There is power in forgiveness.
Matthew 18:21 Peter asked Jesus how many times must he forgive a brother who sins against him. Is it seven times? Verse 22 Jesus replied not 7 times but 70 times seven times. Wow! Jesus then explained the parable of the servants whose massive debts were forgiven by the king when he pleaded for mercy but refused to forgive his debtor who owes him a small fraction of his own debts. How ironical! Verses 23-38.
Our source of forgiveness is Cavalry. We need to understand the extent of our debt before a righteous Holy God. It costs God the Father His own son to forgive our sins. It costs Lord Jesus Cavalry to bring us forgiveness. We are forgiven through the sacrificial death of Lord Jesus on the cross in the grace of God.
To accept forgiveness and to refuse to forgive those who offend us is costly. Jesus called the unforgiving servant wicked and deserves to be imprisoned. Verses 32-33. To nurture the offences and hanging onto unforgiveness makes us prisoner of the past.
To refuse to forgive, we are destroying ourselves and our potential is warped. If you don’t forgive, you will live life with a bitter spirit. You also choke your life out of marriage and family relationships and friendship. Refusing to forgive is costly. If the power of God is within us and Christ lives in us, then we can easily forgive.
Ephesians 4:31-32 commands us to remove our bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander along with every form of malice. Instead be compassionate and kind to one another forgiving each other just as in Christ God forgave you.
Through this parable Jesus warns us about the cost of unforgiveness verse 34. We are given to torturers if we don’t forgive. Another price to pay is God will treat us the way the way we treat our offender. Verse 35. If we don’t forgive, neither can we receive forgiveness from our Heavenly Father. Matthew 6:14.
No matter how badly we are humiliated, or ostracized, it is good to forgive. We need to live out our forgiveness not only in thanksgiving but in forgiveness. It is good to usher in New Year with a fresh start by having the spirit of forgiveness.