Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Purposefulness (Purpose in Life) (05/25/06)
TITLE: Purposefulness of Forgiveness
By Virginia Gorg
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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.
2 Chronicles 7:14
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