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August 3, 2019

Obligated to Forgive

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. (Matthew 18:26-28)

It’s a natural part of life and human relationships that we inevitably do wrong to others and are wronged by others especially those with whom we are in close relationships with. The question for us to consider is how do we respond when we are the one wronged by others? Some seek to get even, others hold a grudge, and still others choose to end the relationship. In the passage above, Jesus teaches his disciples that in His Kingdom we must forgive others.

The servant in the passage above could never pay back the millions he owed. It was impossible. Yet, he was forgiven this enormous debt! Then, in an inexplicable turn, the same servant finds a fellow servant and chokes him over just a few dollars. Needless to say, the master was not pleased with what he called a “wicked servant” (vs. 32).

When we consider the unfathomable debt we owe God for everything that he has done for us, how could we not forgive others for what typically amount to minor offenses? This great passage teaches us that God has taken great pity on us and cancelled all of our debt (sin). We have no right to “choke” others for the small offenses that have been committed against us. We are commanded to “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you” (Ephesians 4:32).

Question: In your heart, are you "choking" a fellow servant for a wrong committed against you?

Challenge: Ask yourself if you are failing to forgive an offense that you yourself are guilty of and consider how unfair or even hypocritical that is.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, help me to remember all that you have forgiven me when I am wronged by others. Grant me the grace to forgive.

Michael Buffi, Chapel Leader -- Pawtucket Red Sox

Baseball Chapel
P.O. Box 10102
Largo, FL 33773

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