Grabbed by the Throat Forgiveness

God is no joke on forgiveness. Withhold it at your peril.

Forgiveness

Matthew 18:21 Then Peter came and said to him, “Lord, if another member of the church sins against me, how often should I forgive? As many as seven times?” 22 Jesus said to him, “Not seven times, but, I tell you, seventy-seven times [or seventy times seven which is my preferred translation].

The Parable of the Unforgiving Servant

23 “For this reason the kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who wished to settle accounts with his slaves. 24 When he began the reckoning, one who owed him ten thousand talents was brought to him; 25 and, as he could not pay, his lord ordered him to be sold,

Christ Forgiving US
Credit: Lenten Reflection

together with his wife and children and all his possessions, and payment to be made. 26 So the slave fell on his knees before him, saying, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you everything. ’ 27 And out of pity for him, the lord of that slave released him and forgave him the debt. 28 But that same slave, as he went out, came upon one of his fellow slaves who owed him a hundred denarii; and seizing him by the throat, he said, ‘Pay what you owe. ’ 29 Then his fellow slave fell down and pleaded with him, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you. ’ 30 But he refused; then he went and threw him into prison until he would pay the debt. 31 When his fellow slaves saw what had happened, they were greatly distressed, and they went and reported to their lord all that had taken place. 32 Then his lord summoned him and said to him, ‘You wicked slave! I forgave you all that debt because you pleaded with me. 33 Should you not have had mercy on your fellow slave, as I had mercy on you? ’ 34 And in anger his lord handed him over to be tortured until he would pay his entire debt. 35 So my heavenly Father will also do to every one of you, if you do not forgive your brother or sister from your heart.”

Obviously, the general theme here is straightforward.  God forgives us far more than we could ever forgive each other.  And it’s important that we should respond to such grace by spreading the wealth.  But the reason I love this parable is because it is a powerful reminder of how we as Kingdom people are to forgive. Continue reading “Grabbed by the Throat Forgiveness”

And Forgive Us Our Debts

Saw a documentary today on Ted Haggard, the disgraced pastor. I thought I’d see Christian hypocrisy at its height, and I did. I just didn’t expect from whom. There’s a great quote from Haggard:

If they were playing chess instead of checkers they’d know the church’s business was me, the sinner.

Word. As self-serving as that statement might be, it’s spot on. These evangelical types really demonstrate the reality that our faith is almost defined by hypocrisy in our modern culture from their position on homosexuality to its treatment of the sinner. As a Christian, I was very angered by what I saw. It demonstrated, yet again, how we Christians fail God on the basics:
Jesus taught us to pray this way

Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,your will be done, on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread;
and forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors;
and do not subject us to the final test, but deliver us from the evil one.

Matthew 6:9-13

He goes on to say, “If you forgive others their transgressions, your heavenly Father will forgive you.
But if you do not forgive others, neither will your Father forgive your transgressions.” That’s just basic to our faith: forgive the sinner. And yet so quickly forgotten.