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Forgiving Others Without Hesitation

John Collins04/04/2012
Matthew 18 tells how Peter asked Jesus how many times we should forgive a brother that sinned against him.  Peter thought seven times would certainly be enough before he should condemn his brother and walk way.

Jesus responded that seven times was not enough, but instead we should forgive one another always.  He said, "I do not say to you seven times, but seventy-seven times," which would be similar to our mothers telling us "if I've told you once, I've told you a thousand times."

Jesus said that the kindgom of heaven is like a master who wished to settle his accounts with his servants.  When he began to settle, one servant was brought to him that owed ten thousand talents.  

Since he could not pay, his master ordered him to be sold, along with his wife and children, and everything he owned.  Selling everything would be enough for the payment to be made.  

The servant fell on his knees begging for mercy.  "Have patience with me, and I will pay you," he cried.  Out of pity for the servant, the master released him and forgave the dept.  

When the servant left the master, he found one of the fellow servants who owed him (the servent) a hundred denarii, or silver coins.  The servant who had just been forgiven of the dept began to choke the other servant who owed so great a dept, and commanded him to pay what he owed.  

His fellow servant fell down and begged for patience.  The servant who had just been forgiven by his master refused his fellow servant, and put him in prison until he could pay the debt.

When the other servants saw what had just taken place, they were greatly upset.  They reported the events to their master, and the master summoned the servant that he had just forgiven.

He said, "You wicked servant!  I forgave you all the dept you owed me because you pleaded with me.  And should not you have had the same mercy on your fellow servant as I had mercy on you?"

In anger, the master sent him to the jailers to be held until he could pay all the debt that was once forgiven of him.

Jesus said, "So also my heavenly Father will do to every one of you, if you do not forgive your brother from within your heart."

As Christians, we should ask ourselves:  Do we only forgive one another a few times, and then hold our brothers and sisters in contempt within our hearts?  After Jesus forgave us of our sins, do we condemn other sinners within our hearts?  Have we even became so vile that we will speak badly against another sinner?  Have we became the sinner that all the other sinners are shocked and upset by?  Will our heavenly Father forgive our debts when we face the judgement, or will he find that we did not forgive others?