Then his master called him and said to him, You contemptible and wicked attendant! I forgave and cancelled all that [great] debt of yours because you begged me to. And should you not have had pity and mercy on your fellow attendant, as I had pity and mercy on you? And in wrath his master turned him over to the torturers (the jailers), till he should pay all that he owed. So also My heavenly Father will deal with every one of you if you do not freely forgive your brother from your heart his offenses. Matthew 18:32 AMP
When Peter asked Jesus how many times he should forgive his brother in a day, Jesus said seventy-seven times (or 70x7=490 depending on your translation). The pharisees believed not more than three times. Jesus then then told a parable about two men who were in debt.
There was a man that owed a king 10,000 talents. Now a talent was the highest unit of currency, and ten thousand the highest Greek numeral. This was like a billion dollars. When the man asked for forgiveness, the king had compassion and canceled the debt letting him and his family go.
Another man owed the first one a hundred denarii, about twenty dollars. That is one-six-hundred-thousandth of the first man's debt. Rather than forgive this man his debt, the first wanted to make him pay and put him in prison. When the word got back to the King, he was upset and handed this man over to the torturers to make him pay as well. Both men ended up in prison and only the one who held the debt could release them as the king did not release the man who owed the twenty dollars. He did owe it. The one that he owed it to had to release him.
Jesus said: Judge not, and you shall not be judged. Condemn not, and you shall not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. Give, and it will be given to you (Luke 6:37). And forgive us our sins, For we also forgive everyone who is indebted to us (Luke 11:4). Our actions cause God to react.
We are required to forgive others in order to be forgiven. This is not really a choice. Jesus made it clear that unless you forgive others, you will not be forgiven yourself. Un-forgiveness is a dangerous game to play. The original text conveys that they were handed over to the Torturers, a tormentor which would make them pay in some way.
Many of us are in that jail and do not even know it. We wonder why our life is a living hell, yet we cling to our bitterness. Let the ones that hurt you go and free yourself from your personal jail. Your life will be so much happier and your mind will be free when you no longer have to track all the wrongs done to you.
Exercise: Create an invoice on paper and write down what they have done to you. Itemize it and place values on it if you want. Fill in their name. When finished, hold it up before the Lord and pray: Lord, they owe me, they hurt me. But because you said to forgive them, I will forgive them this debt. They owe me nothing. Please forgive me. Now burn the invoice.
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