Forgiving; I don’t hold grudges against my friends
Colossians 3:13b, “As the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.”
As we get closer to Easter, many of us are starting to think about salvation, grace, and forgiveness. There is so much freedom found in God’s forgiveness. There is freedom to let go of all of your past and present failures, and we begin to live our new lives as a child of God. God’s forgiveness also sets us free from “earned-salvation.” When we experience God’s forgiveness through Christ, we lose that mindset that tells us we must do good works to earn God’s love and salvation. You no longer have a debt to pay because it has been fully paid for and forgiven through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Jesus’ parable of the unforgiving servant, we see a man who owed a debt to the king that he would not be able to pay in a thousand lifetimes. He had dug a hole too deep, and there was no way he could escape. He pleads with the king to give him time to pay back the money he owes. The king knows it is impossible for the debt to be repaid. Rather than having the man cast into the dungeon for life, the king chooses to show mercy and forgive the debt.
Can you imagine the freedom that must have came over that servant? His life had been given back to him, and he had a second chance. Of course, the rest of the parable tells us how he then refused to forgive a small debt to a fellow servant, and the king punishes the servant for failing to show mercy and forgiveness. Forgiveness is powerful. It offers a clean slate and a chance at a fresh start. However, if forgiveness is not taken seriously, it can lead to a great demise. May God help us learn to forgive others as we have been forgiven by Him, and may we never take forgiveness for granted.
Challenge: Our children are still so very young, and they are learning and observing the power of forgiveness. Most of how they will learn this power is by watching us, their parents. We must be so careful to verbally and physically demonstrate godly forgiveness to our children. As we teach them to apologize for wrong behaviors, we must also show them forgiveness and love. There is no amount of wrong our children can do that we would not forgive them for. We teach them to seek forgiveness when they are wrong, and we also teach them not to take it for granted. Forgiveness is so powerful because it is truly given through love. May our love for our children teach and demonstrate godly forgiveness to our children.