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“The MONDAY MEMO” 
A one-page devotional thought.  

  • Writer's pictureGlen Pitts

THE FOUNDATION OF FORGIVENESS

There are many who hold misconceptions about forgiveness. Some view forgiveness as a weakness - caving into the actions of others. They see it as diminishing the seriousness of the offence and even counteracting justice.

The Bible teaches, however, that forgiveness is a godly thing that reflects the character of God. The foundation for our forgiveness of others is God’s forgiveness of us. The Word exhorts us to “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ, God forgave you.” (Ephesians 4:32)

Jesus told an interesting story of a king who had loaned a lot of money to various servants. (Matthew 18:21-35) He decided it was time to square his accounts, and so he called them in to serve notice. One of the servants had run up a debt of about $100,000. Because he had no means to pay it back, the king ordered the man, along with his wife and family and all his earthly goods, to be auctioned off at the slave market. The man threw himself at the king’s feet and begged him for another chance to pay him back. Think of how shocked he must have been when the king, in mercy, erased his total debt and let him go free.

No sooner had he left the king’s courts when he ran into one of his servants who owed him $10. He grabbed the man and demanded he pay up immediately. The poor man began to ask for mercy and time to pay what he owed. But he gave him no mercy. Instead, he had the man put in jail until his debt was fully paid.

When the news of this filtered back to the king, he was furious and summoned the servant to be brought back before him, reversing his decision to forgive his large debt and demanding he be held accountable to pay it back in full.

Jesus used this story to teach that we who have been forgiven much by God, need now to forgive others.

Unforgiveness in our lives acts like poison to the spiritual man. It imprisons us to bitterness and stress and stunts our spiritual growth. It also negatively impacts our relationship with God. We cannot be at our best spiritually and hold on to a spirit of unforgiveness.

Forgiveness does not deny the offence or even some of the resulting pain. But it’s what God would have us do. “Never pay back evil with more evil,” Paul writes. “Do things in such a way that everyone can see you are honorable. Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone. ...never take revenge. Leave that to the righteous anger of God. For the Scriptures say, ‘I will take revenge; I will pay back,’ says the Lord.” (Romans 12 17-19 NLT) “Instead, if your enemies are hungry, feed them. If they are thirsty, give them something to drink. In this, you will heap burning coals of shame on their heads.” (12:20)

When Jesus suffered the ultimate injustice of the cross, He entrusted himself to the Father (I Peter 2:21-24) and left us an example to follow. “They called him everything in the book, and he said nothing back. He suffered in silence, content to let God set things right.” (V:23 The Message)

Be blessed my friend.

Glen (Pitts)

The Barnabas Group / Loads of Love

Woman holding her friend's hand to give him forgiveness and support

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