How many times were you irritated and spitted a curse when a certain man or woman bumps you inside the LRT? How many times have you given a venomous stare at that person who accidentally soiled your attire with his glass of juice? Have you ever been in a heated argument because a driver banged your car? Did you ever get mad and call your professor different names because he loves to torture you with a lot of readings and examinations? How many times did you argue with your mom and dad just because they can’t understand you?
Lately, I realized that the most difficult thing to do is to forgive. I sometimes question myself why I find it hard to forget the pain and hurt that was inflicted to me by some people. There are many times I told myself that I had already forgiven the people who had done me wrong yet all the while I can still freshly recall the things that they have done to me. There are many times that I let myself remember God had already forgiven me but still, I have kept on condemning myself on a sin or short coming that I committed. There are also some instances that I kept on dwelling in the past just because I chose not to forget the sad throbbing memories that had embarked in my heart.
The truth is that this broken and shattered heart finds it hard to forgive and forget. You cannot give what you do not have. Without love, one cannot really forgive and show mercy.
I was reminded with this parable on Matthew 18:21-35
The Parable of the Unmerciful Servant
Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?”
Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.
“Therefore, the kingdom of heaven is like a king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants. As he began the settlement, a man who owed him ten thousand bags of goldwas brought to him. Since 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.
“At this the servant fell on his knees before him. ‘Be patient with me,’ he begged, ‘and I will pay back everything.’ The servant’s master took pity on him, canceled the debt and let him go.
“But when that servant went out, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred silver coins. He grabbed him and began to choke him. ‘Pay back what you owe me!’ he demanded.
“His fellow servant fell to his knees and begged him, ‘Be patient with me, and I will pay it back.’
“But he refused. Instead, he went off and had the man thrown into prison until he could pay the debt. When the other servants saw what had happened, they were outraged and went and told their master everything that had happened.
“Then the master called the servant in. ‘You wicked servant,’ he said, ‘I canceled all that debt of yours because you begged me to. Shouldn’t you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you?’ In anger his master handed him over to the jailers to be tortured, until he should pay back all he owed.
“This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother or sister from your heart.”
Clearly, in this parable we saw that the King is merciful and just. When the servant who owed him ten thousand bags of gold fell on his knees and begged, the King had compassion to him and canceled all his debts. Instead of extending the mercy that he had received to his fellow servant that owed him a hundred silver coins, the servant refused to cancel his debts and he had him thrown in the jail. When the master found out what he did he was tortured in the jail until he should pay back all he owed.
This reminds me of Matthew 5:7
“Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.”
We are all sinners doomed to destruction. No amount of good works or sacrifice can save us from the consequence of our sins which is death. It is only by the mercy and grace of God that we were saved. Matthew 9:13 proclaims that God desire mercy not sacrifice.
Then he added, “Now go and learn the meaning of this Scripture: ‘I want you to show mercy, not offer sacrifices.’ For I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners.” Matthew 9:13 (NLT)
Because God desires mercy we should also extend the compassion that we had received to those who had wronged us no matter how grave their sin was. Only the merciful will be shown with mercy. Our Father in Heaven will not give us the forgiveness that we desire if we will not forgive the people who wronged us and also ourselves.
“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.”
Forgiveness is a matter of decision. When we say that we forgive someone, we are choosing to overlook his offense and forget the pain and hurtful memories that he had imparted. You are choosing to forget because you are choosing to love. Without love, one cannot overlook an offense. Without love, one cannot really move on and forget. Without Jesus Christ, one cannot love because God is love and without Him, things will fall apart. Forgiveness and healing will never take place unless you choose to forgive and to be healed. Only Jesus can save you from your misery. Unless you let the Healer to bind up your wounds, you will always suffer from pain and emptiness. Let God bind up your wound. Let God heal you from day after day. Choose to forgive, choose to be healed, and choose to be merciful.
“He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.”
Grace be with you.