“For this reason the kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who wished to settle accounts with his slaves. When he had begun to settle them, one who owed him ten thousand talents was brought to him. 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. So the slave fell to the ground and prostrated himself before him, saying, ‘Have patience with me and I will repay you everything.’ And the lord of that slave felt compassion and released him and forgave him the debt. 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.’ So his fellow slave fell to the ground and began to plead with him saying, ‘Have patience with me and I will repay you.’ But he was unwilling and went and threw him in prison until he should pay back what was owed. So when his fellow slaves saw what had happened, they were deeply grieved and came and reported to their lord all that had happened. Then summoning him, his lord said to him, ‘You wicked slave, I forgave you all that debt because you pleaded with me. Should you not also have had mercy on your fellow slave in the same way that I had mercy on you? And his lord, moved with anger handed him over to the torturers until he should repay all that was owed him. My heavenly Father will also do the same to you, if each of you does not forgive his brother from your heart.” Matthew 18:23-35
Forgiveness ….it is what we all receive from the Lord if we ask for it, but it is something He purchased for us at great price. Yet he did it willingly because he had compassion on us. There was no way for us to repay our debt.
As we go through life, we will be hurt by others. Not that we may be hurt, but that we will be hurt, is all but guaranteed. We may be tempted to believe that the other person has to do something in order to be forgiven, but forgiveness is what you do in your heart. Nothing else matters. The Bible says that those who have been forgiven much, the same love much. (Luke 7:47) When we love the Lord and come to Him, He empowers us to forgive. No matter what we feel this may cost us, it is nothing compared to the price He paid. It may be a process, of coming to Him again and again, asking Him for the grace to forgive. The important thing is to choose to forgive, and to bring the matter to Him. He knows your heart, and that is all that matters.
When you forgive others, you may feel you are letting them “off the hook”, but in truth you are setting yourself free. Holding a grudge opens the door to torment. Even your health can be affected. On the other hand to forgive is liberating. When you truly forgive, you enjoy the peace that passes understanding. The price of unforgiveness is too high. We have been forgiven so much. Let us freely forgive as we have been forgiven.