Sis. Carolyn J. Satcher
How hard is it to forgive? Forgiving is probably one of the hardest things that a human being can do or say, other than say I love you. Wouldn’t you agree? Forgiveness is letting go of grudges and bitterness, true forgiveness involves one’s heart not bringing up whatever the offense might have been to cause one to have a grudge or be bitter towards another.
When we look back through the scriptures there were many who needed to say I forgive. Sarah, Abrahams’s wife was bitter towards Hagar, her handmaid because she had a child by her husband before she did. Sarah was so bitter that she cast her out of her home. But Sarah being a woman of God, I believe that she eventually told Hagar, I forgive you. Miriam, Moses’ sister, was bitter towards her brother Moses whom she thought had too much power and did not allow her and others to help administrate. After being stricken with leprosy, she finally came to the realization that God had given him this authority. Moses without too much forethought forgave her and others for trying to interfere with his authority.
Then there’s the story of David who wanted Bathsheba as his wife so badly that he had Uriah, her husband, killed. David was not able to ask Uriah for forgiveness because he had died, but we find in Psalm 51: 2-3 David asking God to ‘Wash him thoroughly from his iniquity, and cleanse him from his sin’. He acknowledged his transgressions: and realized his sin was ever before him. David then he goes on to say in verse 10: ‘Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me’. This is true forgiveness. Not only do you have to ask the person whom you have been bitter towards, but you have to ask God to forgive you also.
Christians should be as Ephesians 4:32 says ‘be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you’. Mark 11: 26 says ‘if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses’. Peter one of Jesus disciples wishing to appear especially forgiving and benevolent, asked Jesus if forgiveness was to be offered seven times. When Jesus responded that forgiveness should be offered four hundred and ninety times, far beyond that which Peter was proposing, it must have stunned he and the disciples who were listening.
By saying we are to forgive those who sin against us seventy times seven, Jesus was not limiting forgiveness to 490 times. As Christians with forgiving hearts, we should not limit the number of times we forgive; we should continue to forgive with as much grace the thousandth time as we do the first time. Jesus’ ‘parable of the unforgiving servant’ followed directly after His “seventy times seven” speech in Matthew 18: 21-25.
The story tells of a king, settling accounts with his servants, and finds that a servant owed him 10,000 talents. Christ's point, of course, is that no one could ever repay such a huge amount. Normally, the servant would have been cast into prison and his family sold into slavery until all was paid. But when the servant asked the king to have mercy on him, the king, was moved with compassion and forgave the entire debt!
The forgiven servant then found one someone who owed him 100 denarii or about $15.
This petty debtor begged for additional time to pay off the debt, but the servant, without mercy, had him jailed until all was paid. The king's other servants heard of this and told the king. So, this servant did not forgive but had to end up paying for his debt. We must forgive from the heart, not merely in words. When we truly forgive from the heart, it is as if no offense had ever occurred. Jesus before he died on the cross said of those who crucified him, “Father forgive them for they know not what they do.”
In today’s world, spouses, siblings, friends, and Christians hold grudges and are not able to say I forgive. At times a spouse will not say “I forgive” and can lead to a divorce. There are siblings who are not able to tell the other sibling I forgive and don’t speak or see each other for years. This also happens among friends as well. We need to be like Jesus. He forgave us all so that we might live and gain eternal life.
Prayer: Thank you dear Lord for forgiving us of our trespasses as we forgive those who have trespassed against us. Thank you, dear God that Love covers a multitude of sins. Thank you for being the greatest example of love ever. In Jesus name I pray. Amen.
Awesome Sis. Satcher! We ask God to give us we must forgive others! Thank you❤️
Thanks you God for forgive us over and over. Great sermonette Sis. Satcher ✝️
I truly Loved this message this morning! It was very much needed and a reminder to self to genuinely forgive!