Forgiveness is not earned but freely given

As Christians we are commanded to forgive. In fact, if someone slaps us on the right cheek, we are to turn to them the other cheek also. The question is, however, are we selective with who we decide to forgive? Do we turn the other cheek for some people while others we are ready to slap right back?

In Matthew 18:21-35, known as the Parable of the Unmerciful Servant, the king canceled the debt of the servant who owed him ten thousand bags of gold. He did not cancel the debt because it was likely that the servant would pay him back in the near future. Ten thousand bags of gold is an amount no average person can pay back in a lifetime. Did the king forgive the servant thinking he could get back that much value from him? The Bible says that the king forgave him out of pity, which means he did so without any expectations of a return.

We often forget that we were once that servant who owed ten thousand bags of gold. There was no way we could pay God back for the debt we owed. No act of kindness or hard effort could ever earn us God’s forgiveness. What makes us more deserving than others?

Who is the person you have a hard time forgiving? Why do we hold grudges against some people while we readily forgive others? Forgiveness is not based on what the other person can do for us or whether they’re likely to change. God loves it when we show mercy to others who have done wrong to us. What is the petty amount our fellow servant owes us compared to debt we once owed? Recognize the grace we have received and He promises to show us mercy the way we show mercy to others.

 

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