Whenever a topic on forgiveness comes up, many questions and reactions will begin to come from all angles.
The reason for this is that many people do not find any reason to forgive their offenders. Many people prefer bearing a grudge and waiting for a time to get revenge.
In fact, many people do not see any reason to forgive because of what the offender does to them.
Despite how many reasons we conclude are the reasons why we should not forgive, We still have to forgive because of who we are. If anyone offends you and comes back with a sincere heart of repentance, please let go. If he does not want to come back to you and you tried to call him back to make peace, and he still refuses, that is now his/her own cup of tea.
It is good to live in this life without grudges and bitterness. So, the conclusion still is, “you must forgive” and these are the reasons you must forgive:
1. God wants us to Forgive.
We cannot but forgive because it is simply what God expects from us. When Peter asked Jesus how many times he can forgive. Peter could not wait for Jesus to give His answer. He immediately proposed the 7th number for Him.
The reason here is that the Jews seem to limit the number of forgiveness to only 3 times (Amos 1:3, 6, 9, Job 33:29-30 Luke 17:4). Also the number “seven” signifies completion.
Peter thought that proposing seven times has surpassed the requirement. But Jesus proposes seventy times seven times which by implication is telling Peter not to count. Seventy times seven indicates an unlimited and uncountable number of times. Therefore, we must forgive, despite everything that happened. This is what God wants and nothing more. This is at least the first reason you must forgive.
2. We also Sin Against God.
When the people caught a woman who was seen committing adultery and brought her to Jesus. The first thing Jesus tells them is “ let He who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her”. ( John 8:7).
Therefore, before we condemn the other person, let us also not forget that we are also sinners. This is part of the problem the servant in that parable forgets. He forgets he was once a debtor and decided to imprison the other person owing Him.
Therefore, when we try to imprison, maim and kill the other person, remember that we can do the same mistake.
3. God also Forgives.
We have to forgive because God also forgives us. In Colossians 3:13, Paul advises the Christians to “ bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgives”.
In the gospel, the servant was owing ten thousand gold talents which was a bigger amount, but the king had mercy on Him and cancelled all.
His debt was totally cancelled by the king but in that of the servant, his debtor only begged for patience but He could not allow him. Because of this, the king became angry.
Therefore, if we want God to forgive our trespasses, let us remember to forgive others their trespasses. If you expect God to forgive you, you must forgive also.
4. If God counts Our Sins.
Jesus uses ten thousand talents of gold which was a bigger amount at that time to compare with a hundred denarii owed by the other debtor to remind us of the gravity of our sins to God when compared with what others did to us.
In contrast to the fantastic debt of the first servant, the fellow servant’s debt of a hundred denarii was a mere trifle. It is nothing.
So, if God can cancel our sins against Him despite the gravity, then He expects us to do the same. You must forgive. We must forgive others because our sins are more grave, but God forgives us. So, we have to do the same to others because in the eyes of God, what they did to us is smaller.
5. God detests an Unforgiving Heart.
The whole parable and the king’s attitude at last simply indicate that God detests any heart that finds it so difficult to forgive.
In the gospel, the king punishes the servant because of the refusal to forgive. And Jesus says, “ so will my heavenly Father do with you unless each of you forgives your brothers and sisters from the heart”.
This indicates that forgiveness must come from the heart, and unforgiveness can lead to punishment and eternal damnation.
Unforgiveness can limit your blessings. Always be open to letting go of every hurt. We experience inner freedom and peace of mind whenever we let go.
6. It is a sign that you are truly a Christian.
When Jesus teaches his disciples to pray, He says “Forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who trespassed against us” (Matthew 6:12). Implying in this prayer that God expects to forgive, because of who we are; children of God. Therefore you must forgive because it is a sign that you are truly a Christian.
7. It makes You free.
One thing with forgiveness is that it does not affect the other person. It affects you. When you forgive, you become free. Forgiveness liberates your heart from grudges and bitterness which may affect the power of your prayers, but unforgiveness keeps you in bondage.
Unforgiveness makes you uneasy. It makes you uncomfortable, troubled and full of anxiety.
Unforgiveness keeps you sad, worried, depressed and always regretting. It is like someone in prison. When you forgive and let go, you become free.
In the parable of today, because the servant refuses to forgive, he finds himself in prison. In the same way, when we refuse to forgive, we also imprison ourselves.
So, you must forgive, because the decision not to forgive is to keep your life in the prison of bitterness and depression.
7. The Measure you give is what You will receive.
In Matthew 7:2, Jesus says that the measure you give is the measure you will receive.
In Matthew 5:7, Jesus also says, “Blessed are the merciful for they will receive mercy ( Matthew 5:7).
Also, in Matthew 6:14-15, after teaching them how to pray Jesus says, “if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins”. Therefore, forgiveness is a must. It is a commandment. It is not under probability.
In today’s parable, Jesus says “And that is how my heavenly Father will deal with you unless you each forgive your brother from your heart.”. Therefore, from this statement and from Matthew 6:14-15, It seems that to receive mercy from God is conditional to how we show mercy to others. In essence, you must let go from the heart.
You will also see that in today’s parable, the servant receives heavy punishment because the servant refuses to forgive. This is a clear sign that unforgiveness can lead to punishment from God. This is also a clear sign that the measure we give is what we receive.
Hence, do not be surprised that the reason many of us are sick and suffering is because of the grudges that we heap inside our hearts. Unforgiveness can also cause mental problems. It can make you sick. Also, Unforgiveness can be a stumbling block to your blessings. If we need mercy from God, we must be the first to show mercy. It is time to be free and let go. Do not keep yourself in the prison of bitterness.
May God bless you dearest and give us the grace to forgive those who trespass against us Amen.