If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
Refusing to forgive someone is like pretending that you have no sin. It makes you unfaithful to the truth. But if you’re honest, confessing your sin, God is able to not only forgive us, but wipe the slate clean. Forgive, it will lift your burden far more than it will lift theirs.
That is over $52,500 for every man, woman, boy, and girl in the United States of America.
Our indebtedness is exceeding our ability to pay.
The rich rules over the poor, and the borrower is the slave of the lender.
Every time you choose to acquire or consume something you don’t need, ask yourself this question “can I afford it?”
If you can’t, that is, if you have to go into debt to get it, you are making yourself a slave.
But there is all kinds of debt, not just financial.
You can owe a debt to someone else. They might have helped you and so you feel obliged to even the scales, or, perhaps you wronged them or they wronged you, and so there is inequity on the balance sheet of life.
Matt 15:15-22 gives some great insight on forgiveness.
- If someone has offended me, it’s my responsibility to go to them and let them know. I have no right to be mad about an offense that I keep to myself.
- Keep the issue as private as possible, but If at first you don’t succeed, enlist some discrete help.
- Any offense itself can be fixed, but the unwillingness to work it out can get someone thrown out of a church fellowship
- We are always commanded to forgive.
So who do you need to forgive? Did someone “do you wrong?” Guess what, if you want to follow Jesus, you need to go to that person.
Who do you need to be forgiven by? Have you hurt someone, whether you think they should be offended or not, if they are, there’s a problem. The kind of problem that is serious enough to get you booted from your church. Go to them, listen, try to understand, and say the 6 most powerful words in the English language:
I’M SORRY, WILL YOU FORGIVE ME?
This works in marriage too.
Jesus goes on to give “the parable of the unforgiving servant” in Matt 18:21-35
We are a slave who had such a large debt, not unlike our national debt, that we could never repay. That debt was forgiven, not simply wiped away, but “paid in full” τετέλεσται (this was one of Jesus’ last cries before he died on the cross cf. John 19:30)
For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
“but they don’t deserve to be forgiven…” forgiveness is never based on what someone deserves, that’s not forgiveness.
What we have earned (our wages) because of our imperfections (our sins) is death. That’s all we deserve. We can’t possibly pay back what we owe. But Jesus, fully God, infinite in worth, came and died for everyone. He was perfect, so he didn’t have a debt, his payment could then be applied to another’s account, and his value is exceedingly abundant, priceless, in fact, so he could cover the debt of the whole world. But it is a gift. This is not something we earn, it is not something we deserve, it’s free.
The gift of forgiveness must be received, with people, and with God.
It is a gift that must be unwrapped… do you know Jesus? Accept his forgiveness today.
Are you holding back forgiveness?
and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.