It’s easy to allow past circumstances to dictate how we handle present and future situations. We are called to forgive those who remind us of our past and we are called to forgive those we aren’t necessarily fond of. We are called to forgive everyone no matter what. Just as He forgave us. His grace is astonishing and seems impossible for us to comprehend. We are called to be filled with Christlike love, grace, and forgiveness. And that’s really difficult but totally doable.
A life filled with love, grace, and forgiveness, a life pursuing Christ…that’s a life I am striving to live each and every day. Life is too short to hold onto pain, frustration, and grudges. That’s how bitterness and resentment grows. Been there done that, it’s not fun.
God forgave me for my plethora of sins…why can’t I forgive my neighbor? Retribution is not a burden for us to bear. That’s between God and the sinner.
Matthew 18:21-35 (NLT)
Parable of the Unforgiving Debtor
21 Then Peter came to him and asked, “Lord, how often should I forgive someone[a] who sins against me? Seven times?”
22 “No, not seven times,” Jesus replied, “but seventy times seven![b]
23 “Therefore, the Kingdom of Heaven can be compared to a king who decided to bring his accounts up to date with servants who had borrowed money from him. 24 In the process, one of his debtors was brought in who owed him millions of dollars.[c] 25 He couldn’t pay, so his master ordered that he be sold—along with his wife, his children, and everything he owned—to pay the debt.
26 “But the man fell down before his master and begged him, ‘Please, be patient with me, and I will pay it all.’ 27 Then his master was filled with pity for him, and he released him and forgave his debt.
28 “But when the man left the king, he went to a fellow servant who owed him a few thousand dollars.[d] He grabbed him by the throat and demanded instant payment.
29 “His fellow servant fell down before him and begged for a little more time. ‘Be patient with me, and I will pay it,’ he pleaded. 30 But his creditor wouldn’t wait. He had the man arrested and put in prison until the debt could be paid in full.
31 “When some of the other servants saw this, they were very upset. They went to the king and told him everything that had happened.32 Then the king called in the man he had forgiven and said, ‘You evil servant! I forgave you that tremendous debt because you pleaded with me. 33 Shouldn’t you have mercy on your fellow servant, just as I had mercy on you?’ 34 Then the angry king sent the man to prison to be tortured until he had paid his entire debt.
35 “That’s what my heavenly Father will do to you if you refuse to forgive your brothers and sisters[e] from your heart.”