"And should you not have had pity and mercy on your fellow attendant, as I had pity on mercy on you?"
Why is forgiveness so important in the Bible?
In Matthew 18:23-35, Jesus tells a story about one man who refused to forgive another. At the end, he makes a clear and strong point targeted at those who don't forgive "turned over to the torturers". If you have, or have ever had, a problem forgiving others, I'm sure you can attest to this. Harboring hateful thoughts and bitterness toward another person in your mind is indeed torturous.
You may have heard the saying, "Refusing to forgive is like drinking poison and hoping it kills the other person." We are not hurting that individual who hurt us by being angry at them. The truth is that most of the time people who offend us don't even know how we really feel. They go on with their lives while we drink the poison of bitterness. When you do forgive those who offend you, you are actually helping yourself more than you are helping them, so do yourself a favor and forgive.
But our hearts tell us, It is so unfair for me forgive them! They have no punishment for what they did! Why should I have pain while they have freedom? The truth is that by forgiving, you are releasing them so God can do what he is able. If I'm in the way, trying to get revenge or escalating the situation myself instead of trusting and obeying God, then he may sit back and allow me to handle it myself. But, if I hand if over through forgiveness, and let him deal with it, he can work it out for all parties concerned.
The book of Hebrews tells us that God settles the cases of His people. When we forgive, we can put God on the case (Hebrew 10:30).
This Week's Meditation:
Teach me to "forgive and hand it over to you."
Help me to meditate each day: "Lord, let forgiveness flow through me."
Teach me to be patient and know you will mentor me. Remind me that prayer motivates me.
Meditate on this for several minutes a day. Allow various thoughts to come into your mind. And realize God has you in his arms always.