This is a tough one for most of us. The core of this past week’s sermon focused on Matthew 18:23-35 23 “For this reason the kingdom of heaven [a]may be compared to a king who wished to settle accounts with his slaves. 24 When he had begun to settle them, one who owed him [b]ten thousand talents was brought to him. 25 But since he [c]did not have the means to repay, his lord commanded him to be sold, along with his wife and children and all that he had, and repayment to be made. 26 So the slave fell to the ground and prostrated himself before him, saying, ‘Have patience with me and I will repay you everything.’ 27 And the lord of that slave felt compassion and released him and forgave him the [d]debt. 28 But that slave went out and found one of his fellow slaves who owed him a hundred [e]denarii; and he seized him and began to choke him, saying, ‘Pay back what you owe.’ 29 So his fellow slave fell to the ground and began to plead with him, saying, ‘Have patience with me and I will repay you.’ 30 But he was unwilling [f]and went and threw him in prison until he should pay back what was owed. 31 So when his fellow slaves saw what had happened, they were deeply grieved and came and reported to their lord all that had happened. 32 Then summoning him, his lord *said to him, ‘You wicked slave, I forgave you all that debt because you pleaded with me. 33 Should you not also have had mercy on your fellow slave, in the same way that I had mercy on you?’ 34 And his lord, moved with anger, handed him over to the torturers until he should repay all that was owed him. 35 My heavenly Father will also do the same to you, if each of you does not forgive his brother from [g]your heart.”
If there were an Erica’s version of the bible it would be summed up like this “Forgive because you were forgiven and you would not ever want your sins to be called against you again.” I am one of those folks who has tens upon tens of thousands talents forgiven to me. No one on this earth will ever grieve me as much as I have grieved my Creator. Who am I to withhold forgiveness?
Still not convinced? Jesus taught us to forgive others,9 “Pray, then, in this way: ‘Our Father who is in heaven, Hallowed be Your name.10 ‘Your kingdom come. Your will be done, On earth as it is in heaven. 11 ‘Give us this day our daily bread.12 ‘And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.13 ‘And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.’ Matt 6:9-13
Bottom line is you DO NOT forgive for the other person. You forgive that person to get it off of you. It begins the healing process. The other person doesn’t even have to be sorry for you to grant them mercy and forgive them.