Jesus told a parable about
an unforgiving servant (Matt. 18:23-34). The servant owed
his master a large amount of money. Unable to pay, he begged
for mercy. The master was moved with compassion and forgave
him the entire debt.
However, when the servant whose debt had been forgiven came
upon one of his fellow servants, a man who owed him money,
he was unforgiving. Though the second servant also begged
for mercy, the first servant demanded to be paid.
The first servant had received forgiveness from his master
but was unwilling to extend forgiveness to others. How often
are we like him? We repent and and ask for mercy and forgiveness
from God but hold grudges against our fellow man.
We have to remember that we are one body in Christ with many
members. For us to function properly in God's kingdom, we
must be bound together by love. But unforgiveness causes disunity,
anger, bitterness and resentment-hardly the fruit of love.
Unforgiveness also hinders the other person as well as ourselves.
John 20:23 says, "If you forgive the sins of any, they
are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are
retained." When you forgave someone they are set free
to do the right thing.
I encourage you today to discover the importance and the
power of forgiveness for yourself. If you are holding ought
against anyone, forgive him or her right now, no matter how
small or large the offense. Put yourself in a position to
receive God's forgiveness for yourself, and release the other
person to respond as God intends. God promises to reward your
obedience. Deut. 28:1-14
Ask the Lord to bring to mind any unforgiveness or bitterness
you may be harboring. Choose to forgive and release the bitterness.
Pray for those who have hurt you and bless those who have
persecuted you. Matt. 6:14-15
God loves you and wants to forgive you but first you must