Forgive… now!

I’ve been reading Matthew. In chapter 18, I encountered an alarming verse and I wanted to make sure to share it. It would be a tragedy if we overlooked it.

In this chapter, Peter asks Jesus how many times he should forgive. Jesus then teaches about forgiveness using the parable of the unmerciful servant. This servant owed a substantial sum of money to the king and could not pay. When he begged for mercy, the king forgave his unpayable debt. Soon after, the same servant rejects the pleas of a fellow servant who owed him a much smaller debt. That’s the setup. Here’s the punch line.

“Then the master called the servant in. ‘You wicked servant,’ he said, ‘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?’ In anger his master handed him over to the jailers to be tortured, until he should pay back all he owed.

“This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother or sister from your heart.” Matthew 18:32-35

I added the bold emphasis because this line stunned me. I stopped reading right there and contemplated that scenario for a while. What if God demanded that I repay the sin debt I owe him? I don’t have the currency. It’s impossible…

Forgiveness is serious business. I encourage you to search your heart right now and see if you find any unforgiveness. If so, root it out and move forward. Forgive and be forgiven.

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About Tony Schmitz

Tony Schmitz received his BS in Mechanical Engineering from Temple University in 1993, his MS in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Florida in 1996, and his PhD in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Florida in 1999. He is a mechanical engineering professor at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.
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