Wednesday, February 18, 2009
“Forgiveness does not change the past, but it does enlarge the future.” Paul Boese
I have been praying for a friend as she struggles to forgive some huge hurts, and I remember a time when I felt so similar to her. It almost felt like by giving up my right to be hurt, I was agreeing with the offender- that what they did was o.k. This quote reminded me that it was never mine to punish anyways, and the minute I forgave completely and let God decide the outcome- my life colored again and I could see "the forest through the trees" so to speak. My world became so much bigger and better, and the future had so many more options. I am so praying that would happen for my friend. She is afraid that if she forgives, her future is cemented in sadness and pain. I hope God will show her all the doors He will open, if she can obey. Pray with me.
"Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, "Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he 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 talents was 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.
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 denarii. 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 you 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 greatly distressed 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 turned 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 from your heart." Matthew 18:21-35