The Power of Forgiveness
Just this past week something caught my attention in the news. You may have seen it yourself and read about it. An act of forgiveness was seen.
Can you imagine forgiving the person who killed your own brother? Well, that's exactly what happened in a Dallas courtroom this past Wednesday.
Police officer Amber Guyger was sentenced to a decade in prison for the murder of Botham Jean, and this young man’s family was there. In a powerful expression of selfless love and mercy, Botham’s younger brother, 18-yr-old Brant, surprised those watching by sharing with Amber the only thing that could totally change her life forever.
Brant told her, "If you truly are sorry, I know I can speak for myself, I forgive you ... I think giving your life to Christ would be the best thing that Botham would want for you. I love you as a person, and I don't wish anything bad on you.”
That's what the power of Jesus Christ can do in a life. It is the power of forgiveness, The Bible tells us, “We love because he first loved us” (1 John 4:19).
The judge also gave Amber a priceless gift—copy of God’s Word, the Bible.
Forgiveness is a powerful thing. We long to be forgiven and quickly embarrass the idea of being forgiven however when it comes to forgiving someone who has wronged us personally in some way it becomes more difficult. We want forgiveness yet we don’t want to give forgiveness? God has something to say about that.
Turn with me in your copy of God’s Word to Matt. 18:21.
21 Then Peter came to Him and said, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven times?” 22 Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven. 23 Therefore the kingdom of heaven is like a certain king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants. 24 And when he had begun to settle accounts, one was brought to him who owed him ten thousand talents. 25 But as he was not able to pay, his master commanded that he be sold, with his wife and children and all that he had, and that payment be made.
By this calculation, 10,000 talents puts this person in debt roughly $14 billion dollars! Even if he should pay $1,000 a day every day of his life, it would take over 3,800 years to pay back!That is a HUGE debt…it was a debt that was virtually impossible for him pay back. Do you know what the point Jesus was making? That you and I have a debt to God that we can never pay, it is called the sin debt.
26 The servant therefore fell down before him, saying, ‘Master, have patience with me, and I will pay you all.’ 27 Then the master of that servant was moved with compassion, released him, and forgave him the debt.
Do you see what just happened, the king was the only one who had the power to great forgiveness of any debt. So the king showed the man compassion and forgave him the debt. What a great gift?
28 “But that servant went out and found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii; and he laid hands on him and took him by the throat, saying, ‘Pay me what you owe!’
100 denarii = 100 days wages $10 an hour in wages - 100 days of 8 hour day labor = $8000.00
What is $8000 compared to 14 billion? There is no comparison.
29 So his fellow servant fell down at his feet and begged him, saying, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you all.’
The man fell to his knees and begged for mercy because he couldn’t pay his debt. Sound familiar? Listen to what happened in the end of this story.
30 And he would not, but went and threw him into prison till he should pay the debt. 31 So when his fellow servants saw what had been done, they were very grieved, and came and told their master all that had been done. 32 Then his master, after he had called him, said to him, ‘You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt because you begged me. 33 Should you not also have had compassion on your fellow servant, just as I had pity on you?’ 34 And his master was angry, and delivered him to the torturers until he should pay all that was due to him.
This man was forgiven so much, and yet he couldn’t forgive someone else for this little amount. The point Jesus was making was that we have all been forgiven for so much by God. He chose to love us and offer us forgiveness for sin.
If we have been forgiven for so much, how can we not forgive a friend or classmate or family member or anyone else for that matter who has done something wrong to us?
Forgiveness is always the best option. It’s not easy to forgive others, but it is what Jesus commands us to do. Even if the other person is not really sorry, we still have to forgive and give it over to God.
13 bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do.
Remember, we should forgive others the way God has forgiven us.
In fact it is found in the very core of the Lord’s prayer when He taught us how to pray.
9 In this manner, therefore, pray: Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. 10 Your kingdom come. Your will be done On earth as it is in heaven. 11 Give us this day our daily bread. 12 And forgive us our debts, As we forgive our debtors. 13 And do not lead us into temptation, But deliver us from the evil one. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen. 14 “For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.