This morning, God has tasked me to proclaim to all of us that we should forgive no matter the cost because he has already paid the tremendous price, hence the need for us to forgive one another. It is straightforward for a friend to forgive, but you will know how difficult it is for you when you find yourself in the same situation. It is worth noting that forgiveness may have different meanings depending on where you are coming from and your life experiences. Forgiveness is a decision to let go of resentment and anger without compulsion. Let us think of how many times we have approached God to forgive our sins but failed to forgive those who sin against us. Matthew 6:12 says, “… and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.” We always say the Lord’s prayer but always find it difficult to forgive our neighbour. For us to be forgiven, we must first forgive.
Forgive your neighbour the hurt he does you, and when you pray, your sins will be forgiven” (Ecclesiasticus 28:2).
Forgiveness must be part of us, and we must forgive even when it is not asked for so that the grace of God will be made abundant for us.
We continually sin when we fail to forgive because it makes us angry and vengeful. This prevents us from getting close to God and brings a massive separation between us. The reading from Ecclesiasticus is clear that
“he who exacts vengeance will experience the vengeance of the Lord, who keeps strict account of sin”.
He who refuses to forgive also destroys himself because there will never be peace in their heart. You then become an enemy of the Lord.
“Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” (Romans 12:19).
Those who do not forgive are greedy and heartless because God first forgave our huge debts without counting the cost and continues to forgive us, so it is our turn to forgive one another. We sometimes hold on to things that we even fail to forgive ourselves for our past mistakes. In the gospel, the first servant owed Ten Thousand Talents against the second servant, who owed one hundred denarii. In doing the mathematics, one talent will be equal to 6,000 denarii. It will take a labourer 6,000 days, equivalent to 16 years, to earn this amount. If we convert that into pound sterling, the hourly rate is, say, £10. 8 hours a day will be £80 multiplied by 6,000 days, equal to £480,000. So, how much will 10,000 talents be if one talent is so much? This tells you how wicked and greedy the first servant was. This servant held the throat of his servant, forgetting that he had been forgiven of his huge debts. When we continue to be unforgiven, it grieves the Holy Spirit and adds to the pain and suffering our Lord and Saviour Jesus went through for us.
Forgiveness heals and plays a role in both our spiritual and physical well-being. The one who forgives is always in a good relationship with God and receives God’s protection and guidance. John Hopkins Medicine believes unresolved conflicts can go deeper than we think and affect our physical health. Studies show that forgiveness can bring many positive results for our health because it can help reduce the risks of heart attack and improve our cholesterol levels and sleep. It can also reduce pain, blood pressure and levels of anxiety, depression, and stress. We must be ready to forgive, although some of the distress caused to us can sometimes be too much.
Jesus Christ has paid all our debts for us, and we must also be ready to forgive others their debts so that we will stay close to God and receive all the grace and blessings he bestows on us. AMEN