‘Blessed is the one whose sin the Lord does not count against them and in whose spirit is no deceit.’ Psalm 32.2
Being forgiven deeply affects our standing before God. There is nothing that comes between us and him, but there are other implications. The way in which we treat other people is one such example.
There is a powerful story in Matthew 18 about a man who owed a fortune, and as an act of mercy his debt was wiped clean and he was allowed to go free. So what did he do with his freedom? He promptly went out, found a man who owed him the merest fraction of his own debt that had been cancelled, and started to demand the small
amount that he was owed.
Why he would act in this way, especially after experiencing such mercy, is a mystery and of course it is probably only a fictional story that Jesus told - but perhaps one reason behind his inability to forgive was that what the merciful king had done for him had not sunk in. So often it is the fact that we do not appreciate the extent of our own forgiveness, and the extent of God’s love for us, that causes us to act harshly towards others.
The death of Jesus stands as the ultimate picture of how forgiven we are and also our amazing value to God, in that Jesus was prepared to give his life for us. Let’s allow this to change how we relate to others.
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The Revd John Ryeland, Director of The Christian Healing Mission
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