Let’s just let the cat right out of the bag. Forgiveness is hard. We all struggle in various ways with this subject and extending forgiveness. We have excuses for why we don’t feel we have to forgive certain people. And we’re not alone in these feelings…even Jesus disciples shared in them. This particular parable about the Kingdom of Heaven is
introduced by Peter asking Jesus an important question about forgiveness. Peter wants to know…What is the reasonable limit on forgiveness?
In response Jesus tells them the parable of the Unmerciful Servant in Matthew 18.
As promised, here is the list from the end of the sermon:
In his book “The Gift of Forgiveness”, Pastor Charles Stanley recommends the following to process forgiveness:
- Make a list of the ways in which someone has offended you.
- Make a list of your own faults.
- Make a list of the things you have done and for which God has forgiven you.
- Ask God to help you view that person who has wronged you, as a tool in the hand of God.
- Ask God to forgive you for your bitterness toward that person.
- Decide in your heart to assume total responsibility for your attitude.
- If you feel it is appropriate, and will not cause more problems than it solves, go to that person, confess your bitterness, and ask for forgiveness. Remember you are assuming the responsibility for your attitude; you are not trying to solicit repentance.
We have but two choices: We can allow bitterness to destroy us, or we can allow God to develop us into the persons He wants us to be. We must choose to view our circumstances and hurts as tools to be used by God to further develop our spiritual lives.