Thursday, July 1, 2010
Notes to the Lord:It is All About Forgiveness
Scripture Reflections: Matthew 18
21Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, "Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?"
Lord Jesus--Peter was trying to anticipate you by offering to forgive more than was required by Jewish tradition. He looking for clarification on the issue of the sinning brother and correction. Part of the question was aimed how many times should the sinning brother be corrected and forgiven.
I am forever grateful that you do no count out the forgiveness and grace that you spend on me. Peter wasn't thinking about the other three fingers that were pointing back at himself as he was point toward others. Lord Jesus remind me when I want to point the finger that I have more than just the one finger that is pointing toward those that are around me.
22Jesus answered, "I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.
So the point is: forgiveness isn't a math lesson, it is given freely without a miser in the background counting out the times.
23"Therefore, the kingdom of heaven is like a king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants. 24As he began the settlement, a man who owed him ten thousand talents[g] was brought to him. 25Since he was not able to pay, the master ordered that he and his wife and his children and all that he had be sold to repay the debt. 26"The servant fell on his knees before him. 'Be patient with me,' he begged, 'and I will pay back everything.' 27The servant's master took pity on him, canceled the debt and let him go. 28"But when that servant went out, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii.[h] He grabbed him and began to choke him. 'Pay back what you owe me!' he demanded. 29"His fellow servant fell to his knees and begged him, 'Be patient with me, and I will pay you back.' 30"But he refused. Instead, he went off and had the man thrown into prison until he could pay the debt. 31When the other servants saw what had happened, they were greatly distressed and went and told their master everything that had happened. 32"Then the master called the servant in. 'You wicked servant,' he said, 'I canceled all that debt of yours because you begged me to. 33Shouldn't you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you?' 34In anger his master turned him over to the jailers to be tortured, until he should pay back all he owed. 35"This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother from your heart."
It really is a simple question. How can we forgive when it hurts so much? OK, so forgiveness needs to be upfront and personal... It needs to be a lifestyle, a reflex that is just a part of the way that I live? But so much of the time I find myself with acid reflux of the soul...belching out old hurts in new settings. How do I forgive...just like I have been forgiven...and felt your grace melt this hard heart of mine.
Lord Jesus, You have demonstrated such grace and mercy to me...teach me the way of forgiveness that is just as much a reflex of the heart and soul as muscle and bone react to the doctor's tap of my knee. Work in this heart of mine today Lord Jesus, teach me the way of forgiveness.