What a burden it is to labor and toil with unforgiveness hanging from my shoulders like a bag weighed down by rocks. I know I have done it so many times and yet, here I am once again. This is quite an interesting place to be. I have a choice to make. And let’s be real—it is certainly not easy either way! Making the decision, the choice (because it is a moment by moment choice to forgive), to forgive someone who hurts you is not a joyful or freeing feeling at first. It is uncomfortable, unwilling, and certainly not simple to achieve. I am stubborn. So very stubborn. I guess that is one thing I have going for me when in comes to training for a triathlon—even when I am coughing up flem from being sick, my stubbornness ignites my will to press on. This works the same way with unforgiveness—even when I am weighted down and miserable, just barely making it, my stubbornness ignites my will to cling onto that unforgiveness. Oh how I love to be right.
Of course, it feels good to be in control. It is easier to hold onto something that would be incredibly painful to let go of. I guess a lot of times it feels as if the pain inflicted upon me by someone else just doesn’t seem to hurt as much as the pain I experience when I die to myself and choose to forgive. Hurt so good, I guess you could say. After the initial uncomfortableness wears off, though, the joy of loving like Christ, being filled with the Holy Spirit, and living for someone far greater then myself finally seems to kick in and wipe the tears and pain from my eyes. Forgiveness is a gift.
Sometimes I forget who I am and what I am capable of—scratch that I often forget! Oh how wretched I am. A sinner in desperate need of the merciful forgiveness of an almighty Savior. Who would I be if I were not covered by the blood, made new, made clean and white as snow? Ummmmm can you say SEVEN TIMES IS JUST NOT ENOUGH!!!! Praise the Lord He forgives us over and over and over and over again. Seven times seventy times doesn’t even begin to cover my desperate need for His radical forgiveness. So Lord, forgive me (once again) for my selfish need to cling to the unforgiveness you so graciously yearn to take off my shoulders. Forgive me for ever thinking it is freedom to cling to those hurts and heartaches—to hesitate in yielding them to you. Forgive me for my yearn to be in control—to be right, to have the final word. Forgive me for thinking I have a right to be mad, a right to be hurt, a right to seek revenge, a right to do anything but forgive. Etch your sacrifice on the cross, your heart of forgiveness towards me so deeply into my skin that I fail to escape it when it is me who must forgive, as you have so graciously pardoned my array of sinfulness.
With great excitement I have begun this new journey as a blogger, and I believe this is going to be a season of learning forgiveness (moment by moment) and finding overwhelming satisfaction in Christ alone.
The Parable of the Unmerciful Servant
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?”
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 talentsg 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.”