When we study Jesus’ parable of the unforgiving servant, we see a common thread with people who refuse to forgive those who wronged them. Peter asks the Lord this question on forgiveness because obviously someone wronged him over and over again, “Then Peter came to Him and said, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven” (Matthew 18:1-2). Therefore, there’s no limit to the amount of times all of us have to forgive.
If you are holding back forgiveness and won’t lay the problem before God to help you fix, the inability to forgive has taken over your heart. Not only does unforgiveness affect your heart, it also attacks your mind. I remember a time when I just couldn’t let stuff go…And I mean a lot of people did me wrong. I had befriended and looked up to people who were bitter and needy for love and acceptance, they would do anything to get, even betray me.
It was very hard for me to forgive because these people made promises they couldn’t keep. I became full of hate and didn’t trust anyone. I will be honest…I still need help with trust but God helped me understand the necessity of forgiveness. Also, I never will go back to a place of bitterness and this scripture helped me understand God’s heart on the matter a lot more:
Therefore the kingdom of heaven is like a certain king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants. And when he had begun to settle accounts, one was brought to him who owed him ten thousand talents. 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. The servant therefore fell down before him, saying, ‘Master, have patience with me, and I will pay you all.’ Then the master of that servant was moved with compassion, released him, and forgave him the debt.
“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!’ So his fellow servant fell down at his feet and begged him, saying, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you all.’ And he would not, but went and threw him into prison till he should pay the debt. 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. Then his master, after he had called him, said to him, ‘You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt because you begged me. Should you not also have had compassion on your fellow servant, just as I had pity on you?’ And his master was angry, and delivered him to the torturers until he should pay all that was due to him.
“So My heavenly Father also will do to you if each of you, from his heart, does not forgive his brother his trespasses.”
Compassion is the root of forgiveness. If you lack compassion, you will also lack forgiveness! A compassionless society cannot understand love or forgiveness. Ask God to give you a heart of compassion, as He has. When you ask Him for this, He will help you forgive all those who wronged you. Don’t let people take the ability to love from you. Protect everything God has given you, especially LOVE.