Forgive to be forgiven. According to the world this is easier said than done. But think about everything you’ve been forgiven for by God. I’m not talking about the stuff that your friends and family know about, but everything. The stuff that only you and God know. From crimson red to white as snow forgiven! As far as the east is from the west forgiven!
Isaiah 1:18 “Come now, let’s settle this,” says the Lord. “Though your sins are like scarlet, I will make them as white as snow. Though they are red like crimson, I will make them as white as wool.
Psalm 103:9-10 He will not constantly accuse us, nor remain angry forever. He does not punish us for all our sins; he does not deal harshly with us, as we deserve.
Psalm 103:12 He has removed our sins as far from us as the east is from the west.
But out of the same mouth we use to praise God for that clean slate, we often spew off words of unforgiveness for friends, family and enemies alike. We name these unforgivable acts and list our excuses to keep holding grudges. Invite more and more people to our pity parties as we repeatedly talk about this wrong that occurred. We are refusing to forgive and certainly won’t try to forget.
It may be 2012, but this process is nothing new. In Matthew 18 a king takes pity on one of his servants and cancels his debt altogether. This man, who owed a serious debt, could have lost everything including his wife and children but not a thing was required of him. You’d think this servant would pay it forward, however that was not the case. As a matter of fact he went out and found someone who owed him, and when told he couldn’t pay, the forgiven servant choked the man and had him thrown into prison.
Matthew 18:32-35 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. Shouldn’t you have mercy on your fellow servant, just as I had mercy on you?’ Then the angry king sent the man to prison to be tortured until he had paid his entire debt. That’s what my heavenly Father will do to you if you refuse to forgive your brothers and sisters from your heart.”
The grudges we hold get heavy. The energy devoted to keeping these grudges could instead be used to forgive and love. The wages of sin is death. We all deserve death for our sins, or in this case torture and payment of debt. That clean slate is not just for you and I but all of us. I beg of you, forgive to be forgiven.