Our motive for being generous in the area of forgiveness is vital. Many Christian authors have emphasized the benefits that forgiving others bring us. It’s true, we will benefit by forgiving others. We will get rid of your bitterness, which eats at our soul. We will enjoy restored relationships with others, along with many other blessings. But, these benefits for us are really the by-products of forgiveness. Our focus should not be on what’s in it for you, but rather on glorifying God and loving others.
When we find it hard to forgive we must remember just how much God as forgiven us. Imagine if someone wrote your true biography and didn’t only write the good things you done, but every bad thing, thought and action. Nothing was left a secret. Anyone who walked into their nearest bookshop could know your every mistake. I think that each one of us is pleased that that book doesn’t exist, but the truth is that God’s know all this stuff about us and has forgiven.
Having been forgiven that much, He commands us to forgive others for their lesser sins against us (Matt. 18:21-35). In the parable of the unforgiving servant, we see that beefore tackling the seemingly insurmountable task of extending forgiveness to someone who has wronged you, we first reflect upon the immeasurable forgiveness the Lord has provided for you and me.
Jesus taught that since we have been relieved of such a great debt than we should be willing to forgive. We owed a debt that we could not pay and Jesus paid a debt that he did not owe. When we read this parable we can’t but think, how ridiculous that this man who had just had a debt removed would refuse to do the same on a lesser level with someone else. Yet we don’t think it so ridiculous when we don’t forgive someone for not inviting us to their party or saying a bad word about something we did. Truth is we act exactly the way the servant does when we refuse to forgive and hold onto bitterness and a grudge.