Sunday, July 19, 2009

Forgive and Forget?

Should we forgive and forget? There are a couple of illustrations I’d like to consider.

Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times? (Matthew 18:21 KJV)

The Bible doesn’t say, but I’ve wondered if there might have been a bit of sibling rivalry between Peter and Andrew. That shows up, even a little bit, in most families. The next verse gives Christ’s answer, but the illustration He gave in verses 23-35 gives the larger meaning.

If His answer is taken to mean that we should forgive always, there’s a piece missing.

But the same servant went out, and found one of his fellowservants, which owed him an hundred pence: and he laid hands on him, and took him by the throat, saying, Pay me that thou owest. (Matthew 18:28 KJV)

The forgiven servant had not changed. There were times Jesus reminded people:

Afterward Jesus findeth him in the temple, and said unto him, Behold, thou art made whole: sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee. (John 5:14 KJV)

She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more. (John 8:11 KJV)

For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, (Hebrews 10:26 KJV)

Zacchaeus changed:

And Zacchaeus stood, and said unto the Lord; Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor; and if I have taken any thing from any man by false accusation, I restore him fourfold. (Luke 19:8 KJV)

The rich young man did not:

But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions. (Matthew 19:22 KJV)

There are times when the possessions are not wealth but are damaging habits. The verse could read differently for each one of us. Whatever we put in front of God will cause us to go away from Him sorrowful.

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