Forgiving is divine and not human!
“That’s what my heavenly Father will do to you if you refuse to forgive your brothers and sisters from your heart.” Matthew 18:35.
Forgiving others for their trespasses is always divine, not human. The source of forgiveness is the grace and compassion you received from God. He wants us to extend the same grace we freely received toward one another.
Jesus said a parable, and you can read it in Matthew 18. One king decided to settle his account with his debtors, who borrowed money from him. One debtor owed him millions of dollars, and he could not pay. The master ordered him to sell all he has, including his wife, children, to pay back the debt. However, the man fell before his master and begged by saying, “please be kind and patient toward me, and I will pay it all. The master was filled with compassion and mercy for him and released him and forgave his debt.
Now, listen carefully to what this man who received mercy did to his debtor. Jesus said, he went from his master, who forgave his huge debt. On the way, he saw the fellow servant who owed him just a few thousand dollars. He grabbed him by the throat and demanded payment instantly. His friend fell before him and begged for a while. He said I would pay but be patient with me, he asked. However, the creditor would not wait or had patience. He arrested the man and threw him in prison until he paid back all the debt in full.
Other friends heard about this incident. They went to the king and said all that happened. The king called the man and said to him; You are evil because I forgave your huge and tremendous debt because you begged with me, didn’t I? Shouldn’t you have mercy on your friend because I had shown mercy on you? King became angry and sent the man to prison to be tortured until he had paid his entire debt.
You see, because he received patience, compassion, mercy, and forgiveness from the master, he should have shown patience, compassion, mercy, and forgiveness to his debtor. However, instead of showing patience and mercy, the man was cruel to his friend.
There are at least two simple and straightforward lessons from this parable. Our patience, mercy, compassion, and forgiveness must be based on how much we received from God. Bible says in Colossians 2:13-15, beloved when you were dead in sins and your sinful desires, God gave you a share in the very life of Christ by forgiving all your sins. He blotted out all the charges that were listed against you, all the list of his commandments which you had not obeyed. God took your sins and destroyed them forever by nailing them to the cross of Jesus Christ. God took away Satan’s power to accuse you of your sins. In Jesus and what he has done for you (by his cruel death, burial, and resurrection), God forgave all of your sins and took them away forever. You see, this is what you received from God. By thankfully remembering what great things God had done for you in Jesus Christ, we must forgive others for their trespasses against us.
This is why I said forgiveness is always divine. Its source is not human.
Secondly, if you do not forgive from your heart, you would experience torture. Not anybody else, but you would pay for the unforgiveness. The price you would pay would be higher. It costs higher. Keeping grudge and unforgiving attitudes make you miserable. In short, you do not have any right to keep unforgiveness in your heart toward another. Your fellowship and friendship with God and your peace are based on your divine ability to forgive.
Your ability to forgive is directly proportional to your understanding and appreciation of what God has done for you. Ephesians 4:32 reminds us, “be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.”
“Father in heaven, Help me to forgive others as you forgave me. Christ paid for all of my charges that were against me on the cross. You gave me abundant grace, mercy, and love. May I forgive others with this knowledge and appreciation of your love toward me? In Christ’s name, I pray. Amen.