Thursday, February 25, 2010

Forgive from your HEART - How hard is that?

This morning, I read in the book of Matthew all about the "unforgiving debtor". He was a slave who was forgiven much by his master, but unwilling himself, to forgive someone who owed him a debt. The slave was pretty harsh to the person and sent him to prison until he could pay him back.

Well, he got told on and when the master found out what the forgiven slave had done to another person it made him upset and he basically said, "Fine, if you're not willing to forgive although I forgave you this huge debt, then off to prison you go." Not only did he get sent to prison, but he was to be tortured until he paid the debt.

Hmm, I thought that was all pretty nasty business, but the story doesn't end there, Jesus finished the story by saying, "This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother from your heart."

Okay, let's get that matter taken care of real quick, I thought. So I went down my list of anyone I may not have forgiven and then wiped my brow with a "whew". Put my Bible away and got ready to drop Sarrah off at school and go for a walk with my sister.

On today's walk I had a mission. I felt like I was supposed to go and see my old boss at his new place of business. He had been on my heart for many different reasons. So, off we went.

Upon arrival I noticed the name of his business partner painted on the window by the door of the office. I emotionally stopped in my tracks. Memories of betrayal and lies stormed through my mind. I did not have any desire to see or talk to that particular person. As a matter of fact now that I was saw his name I was remembering the whole situation as though I was walking through it again. I also recalled the part my old boss played in the whole thing.

As we stood in the office, his partner came out from the back and it seemed he recognized me right away, and was quick to sit down at the computer with no acknowledgement. I breathed a sigh of relief. Next, my old boss came out to greet us and we had a great conversation, although the memory of that painful event was in the forefront of my mind.

When my sister and I FINALLY left, I told her about what I had read earlier that morning in the Bible and the debt I felt the two of them owed me. I knew I had to free them from this debt and honestly didn't know how I could completely let it go.

There on the sidewalk in front of me sat a (you probably can guess if you have read prior blog notes) a shiny copper penny. I picked it up and knew I needed to trust the Lord, obey His word and forgive them of their debt to me. I would need to trust God with the outcome.

Forgiveness doesn't make the pain immediately go away. Forgiveness doesn't say, hey dude come and hurt me all you want over and over again. Forgiveness doesn't mean a person has to be our confidante or best friend. We are to be wise in our relationships.

Forgiveness, is simply saying in your heart, I do not hold anything against this person. The person is free from any debt I feel they owe me. And believe me, this is a big debt.

But, if I stood before God and had to pay my debt for every wrong I've done down here. I would be unable to pay that price. I could never on my own be holy enough to stand before my heavenly Father.

Because He loves me and all His creation, He had Jesus pay my debt. I am debt free for eternity because I believe in this gift He has given to me and it's available for the entire world.

So, knowing how lovingly God wiped my slate clean. I am today, in the process of wiping the slate clean for those two people and anyone else involved in the whole fiasco.

And I will stand in thankfulness, knowing my Jesus did that for me on the cross at Calvary.