- Series: The 5 Marks of Uncommon Community
As the parable of the unforgiving servant illustrates, for believers to refuse to forgive another person is absolutely ludicrous. As someone once said,¬†”Unforgiveness is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.”
As the Church of Jesus Christ, we have to realize we are all sinners in need of forgiveness and grant it to one another limitlessly. Put simply, there are no enduring commitments without¬†forgiveness. Forgiveness is a choice and promise whereby we release another person from the obligation that¬†resulted¬†when they injured us. We promise:
- I will never bring up the sin with you again.
- I will never bring up the sin with others.
- I will never bring up the sin with myself and should I do any of the above I will seek forgiveness either from you, others, and/or Christ.
Scripture Passage(s): Matthew 18:21-35
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The Parable of the Unforgiving Servant
21 Then Peter came up and said to him, “Lord, how often will my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?” 22 Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you seven times, but seventy times seven. 
23 “Therefore the kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who wished to settle accounts with his servants.  24 When he began to settle, one was brought to him who owed him ten thousand talents.  25 And since he could not pay, his master ordered him to be sold, with his wife and children and all that he had, and payment to be made. 26 So the servant  fell on his knees, imploring him, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you everything.’ 27 And out of pity for him, the master of that servant released him and forgave him the debt. 28 But when that same servant went out, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii,  and seizing him, he began to choke him, saying, ‘Pay what you owe.’ 29 So his fellow servant fell down and pleaded with him, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you.’ 30 He refused and went and put him in prison until he should pay the debt. 31 When his fellow servants saw what had taken place, they were greatly distressed, and they went and reported to their master all that had taken place. 32 Then his master summoned him and said to him, ‘You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt because you pleaded with me. 33 And should not you have had mercy on your fellow servant, as I had mercy on you?’ 34 And in anger his master delivered him to the jailers,  until he should pay all his debt. 35 So also my heavenly Father will do to every one of you, if you do not forgive your brother from your heart.” (ESV)
 18:22 Or seventy-seven times
 18:23 Greek bondservants; also verses 28, 31
 18:24 A talent was a monetary unit worth about twenty years' wages for a laborer
 18:26 Greek bondservant; also verses 27, 28, 29, 32, 33
 18:28 A denarius was a day's wage for a laborer
 18:34 Greek torturers