Bible Society of South Africa

Jesus the storyteller: The man who did not want to forgive - 3 April 2024

By Charlea Grey

Bible text(s)

32So he called the servant in. ‘You worthless slave!’ he said. ‘I forgave you the whole amount you owed me, just because you asked me to. 33You should have had mercy on your fellow-servant, just as I had mercy on you.’

Matthew 18:32-33GNBOpen in Bible reader

Have you ever felt that someone treated you unfairly?

I do not think there are many of us who can say we have not felt offended at some point in our lives.

Perhaps, you feel that your hard work, extra hours, loyalty and commitment are overlooked at work. Perhaps, you feel family members take you for granted and never show appreciation for the extra mile you go.

There are certainly things that have made a serious impact on your life – things that other people may have done to you, which left you furious. Then, there may also be smaller things – things that were not necessarily earth-shattering, but at times leave a bitter taste in your mouth, a bitterness in your heart.

I am struggling with such a feeling. Someone acted wrongly towards me and actually bullied me into doing something which I did not really want to do. It’s a long-winded story, terribly complex and perhaps not even such a big deal. However, the point is, it bothered me for quite some time.

In the parable of the slave who did not want to forgive, we read about the importance of forgiveness. We have to forgive others because God has forgiven us. So, we always have to remember that we are not perfect. We make mistakes, we sin and God forgives us when we ask for forgiveness. We must, therefore, also forgive other people when they make mistakes and apologise.

I do think the bigger challenge is forgiving people when they have not apologised. Some people are never going to apologise. Some people don’t even realise they have offended you. Yet, I believe, we should still try to forgive those people.

Sometimes, you need to do it for your own sake. Forgiveness can set you free; forgiveness can help you feel less angry. In any case, high blood pressure is not good for your health!

Prayer: Father, thank you for forgiving me when I sin. Lord, help me to forgive people who have sinned against me. Help me to also forgive the people who offend and mistreat me, but never apologise. Amen

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