“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 times seven times’
– Matthew 18:21-22
Most of us love thinking about fond memories around Christmas time, but sooner or later we run across some we would like to forget. The sting of parents or friends criticism, broken promises, rejections, or disappointments. What do we do with memories like that? Do we drag them along from year to year or can we leave them behind? The fact is that we must leave them behind, and there is only one way to do that: forgiveness. Forgiving sounds easy, yet not many of us actually do it. We treat forgiveness like an option, something that we can take or leave, but it’s not. It is a basic requirement for every Christian!
Matthew 18 tells a parable of a servant who owed his master millions of dollars. The master, moved with compassion, canceled the entire debt. Soon after, the same servant ran down a man who owed him the equivalent of $15.00. The man was unable to pay, and the servant that had been forgiven millions of dollars had him thrown in prison. When the servant’s master heard of this, he called him a wicked servant and threw him in jail until he was able to pay the debt. Look at the size of the debt that the servant was unwilling to forgive, a mere $15.00. Sometimes it is the little debts that trip us up. It’s the little resentments between you and a parent, sibling, or friend that seem too insignificant to bother with. But beware, those are the kinds of debts that can be used to torment you. After all, Jesus paid off a mountain of debt for you. You can afford to be generous about the “nickel-and-dime” debts of others. Spend time with the Holy Spirit and allow Him to reveal any unforgiveness and release it. Make this Christmas more than a time for remembering. Make it a time to forget and forgive.
Confession for today: “I forgive others as God forgave me.”
“And be kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God in Christ also forgave you” (Ephesians 4:32).
Have a wonderful, blessed and very merry Christmas..I love you!!