21 Then Peter came and said to Him, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him? Up to seven times?” 22 Jesus *said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.
23 “For this reason the kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who wished to settle accounts with his slaves. 24 When he had begun to settle them, one who owed him ten thousand talents was brought to him. 25 But since he did not have the means to repay, his lord commanded him to be sold, along with his wife and children and all that he had, and repayment to be made. 26 So the slave fell to the ground and prostrated himself before him, saying, ‘Have patience with me and I will repay you everything.’ 27 And the lord of that slave felt compassion and released him and forgave him the debt. 28 But that slave went out and found one of his fellow slaves who owed him a hundred denarii; and he seized him and began to choke him, saying, ‘Pay back what you owe.’ 29 So his fellow slave fell to the ground and began to plead with him, saying, ‘Have patience with me and I will repay you.’ 30 But he was unwilling and went and threw him in prison until he should pay back what was owed. 31 So when his fellow slaves saw what had happened, they were deeply grieved and came and reported to their lord all that had happened. 32 Then summoning him, his lord *said to him, ‘You wicked slave, I forgave you all that debt because you pleaded with me. 33 Should you not also have had mercy on your fellow slave, in the same way that I had mercy on you?’ 34 And his lord, moved with anger, handed him over to the torturers until he should repay all that was owed him. 35 My heavenly Father will also do the same to you, if each of you does not forgive his brother from your heart.”
Forgiveness isn’t about the numbers. It’s an understanding that we’ve been forgiven — completely. How long do your angry thoughts toward someone fester and smolder — over things like getting cut-off on the freeway, being the victim of hurtful words, or many other grievances. Your entire life can be affected by these angry memories. But think about this — how much have you been forgiven? God isn’t just sitting there tallying up all the things you’ve done to make him angry. Hebrews 8:12 tells us that God remembers our sins NO MORE. Forgiveness is key to the whole Kingdom-life. We have been abundantly forgiven. We’re called to abundantly forgive.
Who comes to mind when you read this? Who do you need to forgive? What is eating away at you? How does forgiveness play out in your life?
Prayer: Lord, teach me to forgive as You have forgiven.
Scripture quotations taken from the NASB © The Lockman Foundation (www.lockman.org)