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April 18 | Matthew 18:21-35


 

DAILY READING

 

REFLECTION


Free Indeed!

by Judy Webb


“The king summoned the man and said, ‘You evil servant! I forgave your entire debt when you begged me for mercy. Shouldn’t you be compelled to be merciful to your fellow servant who asked for mercy?’ The king was furious and put the screws to the man until he paid back his entire debt. And that’s exactly what my Father in heaven is going to do to each one of you who doesn’t forgive unconditionally anyone who asks for mercy.” (Matthew 18:32-35 MSG)


Forgiveness, a vast word with numerous applications. We are called to forgive one another’s wrongdoings, their unkind words, and offenses which are cut us down. We are to forgive hurts, debts, omissions, and the list goes on. One way to look at it is: because we are sinful beings, forgiveness is a way of life and is never ending. There is always someone to forgive, some offensive act to put behind us.


If we don’t understand the concept of forgiveness, it can sit like a heavy ball on our chest, a pit in our stomachs giving indigestion. We shouldn’t view forgiveness as someone getting away with anything. No, when we forgive we are the ones who benefit from the act. A heavy load is removed from our hearts and consciences.


In the case of the scripture text for today, the issue at hand is the forgiveness of debt. Just think if all your monetary debt were cancelled, how free you would feel. How free you would indeed be! Would you then feel justified in going to your neighbor who owes you $20 and demand they repay you on the spot, or else? Anyone with an ounce of human compassion wouldn’t think of doing such an outlandish thing. But would instead forgive the debt.


Forgiveness is generosity at its finest and referred to often in scripture by:

  1. Do to others what you would have them do to you. (Matthew 7:12)

  2. Let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. (Hebrews 10:24)

  3. Make every effort to live in peace with everyone…” (Hebrews 12:14)


This sort of living is attainable when we set aside our pride, when we extend the hand of friendship and offer everyone the opportunity to forgive and forget, as Jesus did.


PRAYER

Jesus,

Remind me often of the golden rule and teach me to live by it. Forgiveness is a way of life for the Christian. What a different world this would be for sure. Let it begin with me. Amen.






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2 Comments


Excellent reminder on a challenging subject. Thank you.

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chuckcoleman25
Apr 18

Fantastic blog. Thank you!

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