Forgiveness is so important in life. But it's not always seen that way, especially when we are hurt, disillusioned or scared.
We often have an expectation for people to come and apologize to us for their wrongs and we tend to withhold our forgiveness until that moment. However, forgiveness isn't contingent on another person's heart posture, it's really our decision to make.
Jesus helps us think of forgiveness like this...
...The servant’s master took pity on him, canceled the debt and let him go.
But when that servant went out, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred silver coins. He grabbed him and began to choke him. ‘Pay back what you owe me!’ he demanded. His fellow servant fell to his knees and begged him, ‘Be patient with me, and I will pay it back.’ But he refused. Instead, he went off and had the man thrown into prison until he could pay the debt. When the other servants saw what had happened, they were outraged and went and told their master everything that had happened.
Then the master called the servant in. ‘You wicked servant,’ he said, ‘I canceled all that debt of yours because you begged me to. Shouldn’t you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you?’ In anger his master handed him over to the jailers to be tortured, until he should pay back all he owed.
This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother or sister from your heart.
Matthew 18: 27-35
It’s simple enough. Forgiveness is a big deal.
Forgiving people from our heart, in a way that it completely changes how we see them and interact with them, is a big deal in the kingdom. It's actually such a big deal that unforgiveness is poisonous to our love and our community, the very community that Jesus has put on display.
So, who do you need to forgive today? Are you holding on to any unforgiveness? Follow the example of the master and cancel those debts you are holding against others.
PS. If interested in chatting or learning more on the topic, I'll be discussing it in a free class, "How to Forgive & the Life-changing Power of Overcoming Hurt." If you haven't already, be sure to reserve your spot for June 14 here.