Matthew 18:21-35 (NLT)
21 Then Peter came to him and asked, “Lord, how often should I forgive someone who sins against me? Seven times?”
22 “No, not seven times,” Jesus replied, “but seventy times seven!
23 “Therefore, the Kingdom of Heaven can be compared to a king who decided to bring his accounts up to date with servants who had borrowed money from him. 24 In the process, one of his debtors was brought in who owed him millions of dollars. 25 He couldn’t pay, so his master ordered that he be sold—along with his wife, his children, and everything he owned—to pay the debt.
26 “But the man fell down before his master and begged him, ‘Please, be patient with me, and I will pay it all.’ 27 Then his master was filled with pity for him, and he released him and forgave his debt.
28 “But when the man left the king, he went to a fellow servant who owed him a few thousand dollars. He grabbed him by the throat and demanded instant payment.
29 “His fellow servant fell down before him and begged for a little more time. ‘Be patient with me, and I will pay it,’ he pleaded. 30 But his creditor wouldn’t wait. He had the man arrested and put in prison until the debt could be paid in full.
31 “When some of the other servants saw this, they were very upset. They went to the king and told him everything that had happened. 32 Then the king called in the man he had forgiven and said, ‘You evil servant! I forgave you that tremendous debt because you pleaded with me. 33 Shouldn’t you have mercy on your fellow servant, just as I had mercy on you?’ 34 Then the angry king sent the man to prison to be tortured until he had paid his entire debt.
35 “That’s what my heavenly Father will do to you if you refuse to forgive your brothers and sisters from your heart.”
At the Cross, all sin weighs the same. One offense doesn’t outweigh another.
“When Jesus took on the weight of your sin and carried it to the cross, He also carried the sins committed against you. When you insist on holding on to the hurts inflicted on you, you deny the power of His crucifixion.
– Jennifer Kennedy Dean
When you choose to withhold forgiveness you are choosing to lock yourself into a prison to be tortured by sickness, inability to connect, rage, fear, sexual bondage, a racing mind/thoughts that won’t quit, relationships that constantly fall apart – the list goes on.
Withholding forgiveness is like opening the front and back doors of your house, strapping yourself inside of a straight jacket, and letting whoever and whatever come and do whatever they’d like to you.
Re-opening the wound that someone else inflicted in order to forgive HURTS, but it has to hurt so it can be healed by Father God.