Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – January 23, 2015
The Problem with Forgiveness?
The problem with forgiveness—is me.
Yes, this post contains more about forgiveness. Such a huge topic. Huge in God’s eyes, and a gaping hole in mine, too. Gaping in the sense that I sometimes find it so hard to do.
My, my. I am oh, so grateful for God’s forgiveness to me! I can sing God’s praises all day long for forgiveness, grace and mercy, abundantly poured out upon me. But the minute I am expected to extend just a little bit of that forgiveness towards some other person . . . especially towards someone I particularly dislike, or someone I just can’t forgive? Well, then. Forgiveness might be out of the question.
It reminds me of a story. A story that Rabbi Jesus told (check out Matthew 18:21-35).
Once there was a man, a servant of a powerful king. Somehow, he found himself in the position of owing the king a huge amount of money, more than the servant could ever pay back. The king had the servant dragged before him. The servant groveled and pleaded and threw himself on his face. The king relented, and forgave the servant his huge debt.
On his way home, the forgiven servant meets a fellow servant of the king. The second servant owes the forgiven servant a small amount of money. However—the forgiven servant forgets completely about the abundant forgiveness, grace and mercy the king extended to him. The forgiven servant has the second servant thrown into debtors’ prison, immediately.
When the king hears about this from the other servants, the king is outraged. Upbraids the forgiven servant, and tells him that the forgiveness is cancelled, and he is now going to prison until the huge debt is paid off. All because the formerly-forgiven servant forgot all about the incredible gift of forgiveness, grace and mercy he had been given by the king.
Wow. Right between the eyes, Jesus. Upside the head, with a two by four. I get it.
You want me to forgive. No matter what. That parable’s enough to make me throw myself on my face, in front of You, and stay there for a long, long time. I’m sorry. I’m so sorry, Lord.
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