Then Peter came to him and asked, “Lord, how often should I forgive someone who sins against me? Seven times?” “No, not seven times,” Jesus replied, “but seventy times seven! “Therefore, the Kingdom of Heaven can be compared to a king who decided to bring his accounts up to date with servants who had borrowed money from him. In the process, one of his debtors was brought in who owed him millions of dollars. He couldn’t pay, so his master ordered that he be sold—along with his wife, his children, and everything he owned—to pay the debt. “But the man fell down before his master and begged him, ‘Please, be patient with me, and I will pay it all.’ Then his master was filled with pity for him, and he released him and forgave his debt. “But when the man left the king, he went to a fellow servant who owed him a few thousand dollars. He grabbed him by the throat and demanded instant payment. “His fellow servant fell down before him and begged for a little more time. ‘Be patient with me, and I will pay it,’ he pleaded. But his creditor wouldn’t wait. He had the man arrested and put in prison until the debt could be paid in full. “When some of the other servants saw this, they were very upset. They went to the king and told him everything that had happened. Then the king called in the man he had forgiven and said, ‘You evil servant! I forgave you that tremendous debt because you pleaded with me. Shouldn’t you have mercy on your fellow servant, just as I had mercy on you?’ Then the angry king sent the man to prison to be tortured until he had paid his entire debt. “That’s what my heavenly Father will do to you if you refuse to forgive your brothers and sisters from your heart.” —Matthew 18:21-35

“Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you” (Ephesians 4:32). “Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you” (Colossians 3:13). “For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins” (Matthew 6:14-15).

Forgiveness… we are called to forgive… period. People can come up with all kinds of excuses not to forgive, but we are called to do so. To not forgive will put myself in spiritual bondage and affect my fellowship with God.

Dear fellow follower of Jesus, look how much you and I have been forgiven! We had a debt we could not pay as the debtor who owed $1,000,000 to his master, but could in no way pay him back. So we too had a sin debt that we could never pay. It was an eternal debt. Yet Jesus paid the eternal debt for us on the cross and forgave us all our sin. Rejoice!

Now, why is it you and I cannot forgive someone else? We are to have the same attitude of forgiveness. We are not to be like the servant above who was forgiven his huge debt and then went out and found a fellow servant that owed him a few thousand dollars and had him thrown into prison until he paid up. No, we are “to forgive your brothers and sisters from your heart.”

Dear Father, please help me to have a forgiving attitude in the power of Your Holy Spirit and in the authority of Jesus.

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