Often, even as new people in Christ, Christians find it difficult to forgive, because they least expect that certain individuals would hurt them. The feeling is that if anybody would hurt them, it shouldn’t be a particular person. Sometimes best friends become worst enemies. Yes, even husbands and wives can become sworn enemies. The closest person who told you he loved and cared for you, can become your worst enemy.
As new people in Christ, we need to remember that God has forgiven us for lots of horrible things.
To illustrate this, Jesus told the parable of the unforgiving servant. He compared the Kingdom of God to a certain King who wanted to settle accounts with all his servants. One servant owed him 10,000 talents. When he was unable to pay, the King thought of selling him, his wife, children and all his property, but the servant begged for mercy.
…Lord, have patience with me…Then the lord… was moved with compassion, and…FORGAVE him the debt. Matthew 18:26-27
However, this same servant found a fellow servant who owed him just 100 pence and immediately hell broke loose. Despite his cry for mercy, the unforgiving servant threw his fellow servant into prison, till he settled all his debts. This was reported to the King.
Then his Lord…said…O thou wicked servant, I forgave thee all that debt…Shouldest not thou also have had compassion on thy fellow servant…? And his Lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors…likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses. Matthew 18:32-35
Talents could be either gold or silver talents. One golden talent is worth approximately 29,085 US dollars. One talent of silver is equivalent to 1,920 US dollars. 10,000 gold talents is two hundred and ninety million, eight hundred and fifty thousand dollars ($290,850,000).
That is the amount that this young servant owed his master.
God has forgiven us $290,850,000 and we are required to forgive our friends a few cents.
Perhaps, you think that you were not a bad person, even as an unbeliever. Maybe you were not a diamond thief or a drug pusher, so you think this does not apply in your case. It applies to everyone who has been a sinner before. Without raising a finger or uttering a word, man’s heart is already wicked (Jeremiah17:9).
Sometimes, in talking about what somebody has done to us, we forget that we have also wronged God and man before. From God’s point of view, a Christian who cannot forgive is rather strange.
God will forgive you if you murder, lie, fornicate, commit adultery, and practise witchcraft. However, God will not forgive you if you bear someone a grudge. …forgive…that your Father also…may forgive you your trespasses. Mark 11:25
That is the point at which God stops forgiving you.
If you have an unforgiving nature, the implications are far-reaching. It indicates that perhaps you are not a “new man”, or that you are just a pretending Christian.
Over the years, I have come to see and believe that unforgiveness is one sin that God will not forgive. It may be for you the difference between life and death. Moreover, the sin of unforgiveness is to me, even more dangerous than the sin of fornication.
Often, because unforgiveness is not seen physically, many Christians feel that they can get away with it. But it is deadly if it is left unchecked in your heart.
God will not hear your prayer, and He will not prosper or bless you if unforgiveness lingers in your life. God will be angry with you, because He forgave you, but you would not forgive others! Remember, the Bible tells us the Lord was wroth with His servant for not forgiving. In addition, the Bible says the man who did not forgive his brother was handed over to the tormentors.
Many Christians do not know why they are being tormented in this life. It could be because of unforgiveness.
Many times, we commit the same sins over and over again. Then we come to God expecting Him to forgive us.
God looks at our numerous sins and says, “Okay, I have forgiven you.” However, we come back with the same sin repeatedly and God has to forgive us.
Now, if we refuse to forgive our brothers in the same way, do you not think that God will be angry with us?
– Forgiveness made easy by Bishop Dag Heward Mills