by Rick Warren
“The servant’s master took pity on him, canceled the debt and let him go.” (Matthew 18:27 NIV)
God’s Word gives us three reasons why we have to let go of our hurt and resentment and why we have to forgive. We’ve got to release it instead of rehearsing it. There are three reasons we must forgive.
- Because God forgives you.
In Matthew 18, Jesus tells the story of a king who forgives his servant. Verse 27 says, “The servant’s master took pity on him, canceled the debt and let him go” (NIV). Just as the king canceled the debt of this servant, God sent Jesus Christ to pay for your debt. Everything you’ve ever done wrong in your life has already been paid for. Jesus took your rap. He paid your jail time. He took your offense and paid the wages of sin. Jesus Christ died for all of your sins.
- Because resentment is self-torture.
It is a self-inflicted wound. Whenever you’re resentful, it always hurts you more than the person you’re bitter against. In fact, while you’re still worrying about something that happened years ago, they’ve forgotten about it! Your past is past, and it can’t hurt you any more unless you hold on to it.
- Because you need forgiveness every day.
The Bible teaches very clearly that we cannot receive what we are unwilling to give. Do you want to be forgiven? The Bible says you need to be forgiving.
Forgiveness is a lifestyle. It’s not just something you do one time. You need it every day of your life. You’ve got to ask for forgiveness. You’ve got to accept forgiveness from God and from others. And you’ve got to offer forgiveness. Forgiveness must be continual. It must be enjoyed, and it must be employed.