Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?” Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times."
- Matthew 18:21-22
Have you ever judged or been critical of others for similar faults in yourselves?
Personally, being overscheduled, I sometimes struggle to be punctual as unexpected delays always occur. I always appreciate when others show understanding and kindness for my tardiness knowing that I may have been 'caught up' in other responsibilities. Yet, I am ashamed to admit that there are times when others are late when I feel impatient, obviously not demonstrating the same courtesy that others have so often extended to me.
In the parable of the unmerciful servant, a master had shown grace and mercy to a servant in debt. This individual, however, in turn, refused to show the same kindness to his fellow servant. This lack of a forgiving spirit led to the master revoking his mercy and had the individual thrown in jail to be tortured till his debt was paid.
Forgiveness is not an easy ask, and we are often taught in our society that we must have a limit to create boundaries and to maintain self-worth. What is important, however, is that we must also remember that we ourselves are imperfect and are sinners who have committed so many wrongs ourselves. Despite our wrongdoings, God had shown mercy and forgiven us. We have failed Him so many times but He has repeatedly been patient with us. What He asks is for us to demonstrate the same patience and kindness to others--to forgive others just as He has forgiven us.
Reflection: Reflect on when you have been unforgiving. Who do you need to work on forgiving? Imagine the freedom and benefits of forgiving that individual and consider how you may take the steps needed towards forgiveness.
Let the gospel, worship and traditional Christian music accompany your time with God as you read this week's blog on Forgiveness. May this devotional help deepen your faith and enhance your knowledge of the biblical scripture.