Peter came and said to Jesus, “Lord, if another member of the church sins against me, how often should I forgive? As many as seven times?” Jesus said to him, “Not seven times, but, I tell you, seventy-seven times.
“For this reason the kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who wished to settle accounts with his slaves. When he began the reckoning, one who owed him ten thousand talents was brought to him; and, as he could not pay, his lord ordered him to be sold, together with his wife and children and all his possessions, and payment to be made. So the slave fell on his knees before him, saying, `Have patience with me, and I will pay you everything.’ And out of pity for him, the lord of that slave released him and forgave him the debt. 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.’ Then his fellow slave fell down and pleaded with him, `Have patience with me, and I will pay you.’ But he refused; then he went and threw him into prison until he would pay the debt. 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. Then his lord summoned him and said to him, `You wicked slave! I forgave you all that debt because you pleaded with me. Should you not have had mercy on your fellow slave, as I had mercy on you?’ And in anger his lord handed him over to be tortured until he would pay his entire debt. So my heavenly Father will also do to every one of you, if you do not forgive your brother or sister from your heart.”
From Jonathan Sanders
“how often should I forgive?”
I like to hold grudges. I get some sort of emotional payoff for it. I can’t really explain it. I think I’m just wired that way. It’s interesting though, I continue to make mistakes every day and yearn for forgiveness and understanding. But I hold grudges. How can I possibly reconcile the two? That’s easy. I can’t. Just as I have sought forgiveness for infractions I have committed, I need to first forgive others for their misgivings as well.
In the recovery program that I do, making amends is part of it. However, it clearly tells me that before I make an amends with someone for an infraction, I must first be willing to forgive, for how can I ask for forgiveness if I am unwilling to do so myself?
So what grudges are you holding? And for what do you need to seek forgiveness?