Wednesday, October 21, 2020 -
When we embrace God’s complete forgiveness of our sin through the blood His innocent Son shed on our behalf, he expects us also to forgive others who may have unjustly wronged us or sinned against us. This is the essence of Jesus’ parable of the unforgiving slave found in Matthew 18:21-35.
Unforgiveness can destroy one’s life completely. And what we are asked to forgive can hardly compare to what God has forgiven us. Why should we also not forgive those who have hurt us? They may not deserve our forgiveness, but neither do we deserve our Heavenly Father’s forgiveness. The words Jesus uses at the end of this parable sums up the ultimate consequences of unforgiveness in our hearts, “Should you not also have mercy on your fellow slave, even as I had mercy on you? And his lord moved with anger, handed him over to the torturers until he should repay all that was owed him. So shall My Heavenly Father also do to you, if each of you does not forgive his brother, from your heart.”
Clearly, there is no way to pay back God in our own efforts in a way to redeem ourselves of our sinfulness. The consequence of unforgiveness then is eternal torture. Christian counselors can testify that the torture that unforgiveness inflicts upon people has dire consequences beginning here in our current earthly lives. Unforgiveness leads to bitterness. It destroys our spiritual life as well as our relationship with others. It can lead to many emotional and physical ailments. It leads to no good thing and opens us up to other attacks of Satan and a completely defeated life, neglecting our relationship with the Lord completely.
I urge you to search your own heart for any root of bitterness and unforgiveness. Confess it to the Lord and take steps to forgive that person or persons. Turn with a prayerful heart to God’s Word and seek it, allowing the Holy Spirit to restore a right relationship not only with others but with Himself. This is what God expects of everyone who embraces His redemption and God’s forgiveness for one’s own sin.