“Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you” ( Ephesians 4:32).
Here is a funny but not very unusual situation. A judge is about to convict a manager accused of financal fraud but upon hearing his pleas for mercy suspends the sentence and orders his immediate release. Upon getting back to his home the freed manager finds though one of his workers while locked up took advantage and stole his farm live stock. The manager is enraged and pursues this worker. Once he gets him the worker is thrown in jail for fraud. In spite of all pleas for mercy, the old manager would have none of that! But hasn’t he forgotten so quickly. Strange but true!
A long time ago when Peter approached Jesus and asked him a deep question, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?” ( Mathew 18:21), the answer surprised him. “Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times” ( vv 22).
Peter was puzzled. So to help him out the Lord shared a parable of something like the above story. In that parable a master forgave a debtor of all his dues. This debtor once freed in turn though could not extend equal mercy to another debtor of his whom he quickly had thrown in jail. Of course when his old master got to know he was not pleased. He had him arrested back again for his old debts. “Shouldn’t you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you?’ In anger his master handed him over to the jailers to be tortured, until he should pay back all he owed” ( vv 33 -34).
Life as it is everyone of us will face a situation of hurt. Not only that sometimes one has all the powers to punish the offender. Jesus is telling us to be merciful and forgiving, for “This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother or sister from your heart” ( vv 35).
Prayer today: Lord Father God of Abraham, maker of heaven and earth, as you have forgiven us of all our sins and paid the ultimate price of dying on the cross for our salvation, I pray in the same manner to be as forgiving of those that offend and hurt me, this I pray in Jesus’s name.