Forgive one another, as God has forgiven you through Christ. - Ephesians 4:32b (TEV)
Sometimes, it can be very hard to tell the truth, sometimes, it can be very hard to hear the truth. For the Peterson kids, Stella and Harold, this was to become a bold reality.
Harold, had been grieving all week. In an attempt to try and cheer him up, Harold’s dad, Bill, helped him have a funeral for Muffy and to bury him, he even put a cross up on the grave. All Bill’s efforts seemed to be working and Harold was starting to cheer up but that was soon to come to an end.
Although it had been nearly a week since Muffy had fought with the bear saving Stella’s life and giving his in the process, Harold hadn’t yet heard the whole story as to why. Stella was about to tell him.
“What are you doing here!?” Harold snapped at Stella as she stood outside his bedroom door. “I need to talk to you about Muffy.” Stella told Him. “What’s left to talk about?” Harold growled, “He’s gone now, and he’ll never chew on your toys again.” “Well, Uh,” Stella continued, “ Dad wants me to tell him the whole story about what happened to Muffy.”
“What story? What are you talking about?” Harold asked “Well,” stammered Stella, “Remember how you thought Muffy ran away? Well, he didn’t. Barney and Tracy and I helped take Muffy away and get him lost so he would never come back” “NO!” Harold injected, “So this is all your fault!” “Muffy always got in the way and caused problems,” Stella continued, “and you wouldn’t play with us anymore.”
“Why would I want to play with you?” Harold shouted back at his sister. “Than there was the bear cub,” Stella started to say. “And you just couldn’t resist going and petting him because he was cute.” Harold interrupted his sister again. “Yeah, and that’s when the mother bear came.” Stella continued, “We tried to run away but I tripped. Than Muffy came and fought the bear. “He saved my life,”
Upon hearing Stella story, Harold started screaming at his sister, “So you’re the reason Muffy died.” he said, “I’ll never forgive you for that. I HATE YOU. SISTERS ARE WORTHLESS. THAT BEAR SHOULD HAVE GOT YOU INSTEAD. Than Muffy would be here and the world would have one less girl in it. I’ll never forget what you did. I’ll hate you forever.” And with those words he slammed his door in her face leaving her crying in the hallway.
How do you respond when you learn the truth? Matthew 6:14-15 says If you forgive others the wrongs they have done to you, your Father in heaven will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others, then your Father will not forgive the wrongs you have done. (TEV)
Have you ever felt like Harold? Hurting, angry, and unwilling to forgive? Maybe it was a relative like Mom or Dad or a brother or a sister, etc. Maybe it was a coworker or a friend, soul-mate it might have even been an enemy or God himself that has somehow caused you to feel the way you do. And maybe it has happened one to many times and you've come to the end of your rope. Why should I forgive them – God will understand if I don't.... or will He?
In Matthew 18:21 Peter came to Jesus and asked Him, “Lord, if my brother keeps on sinning against me, how many times do I have to forgive him? Seven times? (TEV) Look at how Jesus answers him in the next verse “No, not seven times but seventy times seven.” Jesus than went on to explain why with a familiar story.
The Kingdom of heaven is like this. Once there was a king who decided to check on his servants' accounts. He had just begun to do so when one of them was brought in who owed him millions of dollars. The servant did not have enough to pay his debt, so the king ordered him to be sold as a slave, with his wife and his children and all that he had, in order to pay the debt. The servant fell on his knees before the king. 'Be patient with me,' he begged, 'and I will pay you everything!' The king felt sorry for him, so he forgave him the debt and let him go. "Then the man went out and met one of his fellow servants who owed him a few dollars. He grabbed him and started choking him. 'Pay back what you owe me!' he said. His fellow servant fell down and begged him, 'Be patient with me, and I will pay you back!' But he refused; instead, he had him thrown into jail until he should pay the debt. When the other servants saw what had happened, they were very upset and went to the king and told him everything. So he called the servant in. 'You worthless slave!' he said. 'I forgave you the whole amount you owed me, just because you asked me to. You should have had mercy on your fellow servant, just as I had mercy on you.' The king was very angry, and he sent the servant to jail to be punished until he should pay back the whole amount." And Jesus concluded, "That is how my Father in heaven will treat every one of you unless you forgive your brother from your heart." Matthew 18:22-35 (TEV)
To bring this into perspective 1 talent may have been worth at that time 15 years wages which would mean he owed 150,000 years worth of wages to the king. If you make $25,000 a year that would be the same as $3,750,000,000. Which of you would be able to pay that debt – on demand.
The other fellow, well his 100 denari was 100 days wages. If you made $10.00 and hour that would be a debt of about $8,000 (more or less depending on what you make.) compared to the first fellow his debt was almost non existent.
We are the first fellow before God, the second fellow is any body else before us. The money is the wrongs that have been done. Do you get the picture? We need to forgive because we need even more forgiveness than we may ever have to hand out.
God is willing to forgive us – 1 John 1:9 reminds us of that But if we confess our sins to God, he will keep his promise and do what is right: he will forgive us our sins and purify us from all our wrongdoing. (TEV) There for we need to be like God and forgive those around us - Ephesians 4:32 be kind and tender-hearted to one another, and forgive one another, as God has forgiven you through Christ. (TEV)
Here's Something To Ponder
- When was the last time you needed forgiveness from God?
- When was the last time you failed to forgive some one who needed it from you?