It says in the Lord's Prayer, found in Matthew 6:12- 'Forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors'. What does it mean to be a debtor? It is most often used in finances--when you borrow money you are expected to pay it back. The debtor rule is: 'You Owe, You Pay'. There are two truths: 1. We are all debtors, especially spiritually--we've all sinned against God and others. 2. We all have debtors--we've all been sinned against. What are you going to do with people who have sinned against you? Do you show them grace? Forgiveness?
You Owe, but I’ll Pay
Matthew 18:21-35--Peter asks how many times must we forgive--7 times? Jesus says 77 times, meaning an unlimited amount. Jesus then shares a parable showing what forgiveness is: A king was settling accounts with his servants. One man owed him a large amount of 10,000 talents and the king was going to throw him and his family into jail until he could pay it back, but the man begged for more time, so the king took pity on him and forgave him his debt--'You owe, but I will pay'.
God is just, but full of grace. Jesus forgives us of our sins when we make Him our Savior.
Then the servant went to someone who owed him a small amount. The man begs him for patience, but he refuses, beats him, and throws him in jail.
We often 'beat up' our debtors emotionally instead of forgiving them like Jesus forgave us. We are the biggest debtors we know.
When the king learned that his servant had done this, he called him back in and told him he should have shown mercy like he was shown mercy. 'I will now let you reap what you sow', so the man was thrown in jail and tortured. This is how God will treat you unless you forgive your brothers and sisters in your heart.
Forgiveness is not tolerating bad behavior, and sometimes it doesn't mean reconciliation unless both people want it. Forgiveness is giving up your right to get back at them and give them to God.
Forgive Like Jesus
The Grossmeyers, missionaries visiting Poland Christians after WW2, asked if they would be willing to meet with Christians in West Germany since they wanted to ask forgiveness and build a better relationship. The Polish Christians said that it was impossible to forgive them. The Grossmeyers then recited the Lord's Prayer with them, and when they got to the part about forgiveness, people started saying they must forgive, with God's help. Eighteen months later, they met with the German Christians and established a friendship that remains today.
let's pause in that part of the Lord's Prayer and ask God to help us forgive. God, help us to remember the mountain of debt you have forgiven us, and help us forgive others. Is there someone I need to forgive? Show me, help me show grace and forgive like Jesus. Amen.
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