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Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Do We Hold Others To A Higher Standard Than Ourselves?

Matthew 18:21-35
Peter approached Jesus and asked him,
"Lord, if my brother sins against me,how often must I forgive him? As many as seven times?"
Jesus answered,
"I say to you, not seven times but seventy-seven times. That is why the Kingdom of heaven may be likened to a king who decided to settle accounts with his servants. When he began the accounting, a debtor was brought before him who owed him a huge amount. Since he had no way of paying it back, his master ordered him to be sold, along with his wife, his children, and all his property, in payment of the debt.
At that, the servant fell down, did him homage, and said, 'Be patient with me, and I will pay you back in full.' Moved with compassion the master of that servant let him go and forgave him the loan.
When that servant had left, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a much smaller amount. He seized him and started to choke him, demanding, 'Pay back what you owe. 'Falling to his knees, his fellow servant begged him, 'Be patient with me, and I will pay you back.'
But he refused.
Instead, he had him put in prison until he paid back the debt.
Now when his fellow servants saw what had happened, they were deeply disturbed, and went to their master and reported the whole affair. His master summoned him and said to him, 'You wicked servant! I forgave you your entire debt because you begged me to. Should you not have had pity on your fellow servant,as I had pity on you?'
Then in anger his master handed him over to the torturers until he should pay back the whole debt. So will my heavenly Father do to you, unless each of you forgives your brother from your heart."

- - - - - - - - - -
When needed, most of us seek forgiveness and hope and desire to be forgiven. We believe in compassion and mercy and feel that is should be applied in life. We believe that we learn from our mistakes and in the end they make us better people.
However, when it isn't "us" who are seeking forgiveness, but rather another who has committed a wrong against us, are we just as quick to understand the value and necessity of compassion, understanding, and mercy?
Do we hold grudges...... Do we wonder just how many times will I need to forgive that particular person?
Jesus answers Peters question about forgiveness, we are not to forgive just 7 times, but rather a seemingly endless amount of times, "seventy-seven times."
But if we chose to not forgive others, or to only forgive in certain circumstances, so to will our Heaven Father choose to forgive us in a similar fashion. As Jesus stated "So will my Heavenly Father do to you, unless each of you forgives your brother from your heart."
Forgiveness is grounded in Love...... It is only Love that can free us and allow us to transcend our sinfulness, our selfishness, and even our pridefulness.
It is in allowing God's love and grace to take over within us, to guide us, that we can let go and fulfill God's ultimate plan for us.....also knowing that God's plan for us just might be quite different than we think what God's plan is for us......

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