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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Purposefulness (Purpose in Life) (05/25/06)

TITLE: Purposefulness of Forgiveness
By Virginia Gorg
05/30/06


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The Purposefulness of Forgiveness

Jesus tells us to forgive “not seven times, but seventy-seven times.” In fact, if a person asks forgiveness seven times in the same day (or hour), we must forgive him each time.

There is a caveat, however. Forgiveness must be done with an intentional purposefulness. If we forgive someone flippantly or jokingly, God will not forgive us.

In Matthew 18, Jesus tells us the Parable of the Unmerciful Servant. In this parable, the servant pled for mercy from the king for repayment of 10,000 talents. The king took pity on the servant and canceled the debt. In return, the servant then met a fellow servant who owed him one hundred denarii. The fellow servant begged mercy, but it was not given, and the fellow was thrown into jail. When the king found out, he had the first servant thrown into jail instead, stating: “You wicked servant, I canceled all that debt of yours because you begged me to. Shouldn't you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you?”

To fully understand this passage, we need to identify the monetary values and the magnitude of forgiveness given by the king. One talent was worth about 20 years wages. The first servant was forgiven a debt equaling 200,000 years wages. In marked contrast, the fellow servant’s debt was for one hundred denarii, equivalent to about four months wages.

This parable is a tale of unconditional, complete, and purposeful forgiveness. God will completely forgive us and cast our sins behind His back, thus eliminating our sins forever. God provided the means for everyone’s forgiveness – the shed blood of Jesus – so we have no right to withhold forgiveness from anyone. Sin is committed against God. Since God forgives, what right do we have not to?

Forgiveness is not always easy to accomplish, but we must do it with determination and a repentant heart. The purposefulness of forgiveness will be accomplished when we humble ourselves, pray, seek God, and turn from our wicked ways. Then God will forgive us and heal us.

Scripture references:
Matthew 18:22
Matthew 18
2 Chronicles 7:14


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Member Comments
Member Date
Sherry Wendling06/01/06
You have a nice devotional style, and your written expression is clear. I'd like to see this excellent theme developed and clarified more. For instance, can you illustrate what you mean by forgiving "flippantly?" I was a little unclear on that.

Then in your final paragraph I was left wondering why someone who is determined to forgive (a righteous attitude) needs to have a repentant heart.

I'm so glad you did careful research on the value of the debt that was forgiven! I'm sure that with some more careful thought, you can make your case rock solid. Blessings and keep on writing!
Edy T Johnson 06/07/06
Forgiveness is such an essential quality, I really appreciate your addressing it here, as you did. You have demonstrated in a meaningful way the contrast between the magnitude of what God has forgiven us, and the little we are called on to forgive.

God bless your writing!