The Impact of Forgiveness

God’s grace and kindness to us should naturally flow to others.

Matthew 18:21-35

When Peter asked Jesus about forgiveness, he probably thought he was being generous by asking if seven times was enough. In a place and time where grace and mercy were in short supply, the disciple likely felt himself incredibly charitable. So imagine his surprise when Jesus replied, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy-seven times” (Matt. 18:22).

Jesus then shared the parable of a slave who owed the king a great debt. The king felt compassion, released him, and forgave the debt. But later, the man found someone who owed him a smaller amount. Rather than extend a portion of the grace he’d received, the slave demanded payment and punished the other man until he could pay it all. Hearing of this wickedness, the king called back the slave who had shown no mercy to a fellow worker. Then the king withdrew his generous offer and handed the slave over to jailors to work off every single denarius he owed.

May an unmerciful mindset never be true of us. When we truly grasp the depth of what Jesus did on the cross (Colossians 2:14), we should be eager to grant and freely share that gift with others. Forgiveness becomes a natural outpouring of the indwelling power of God within us, allowing us to forgive to the extreme—just as we are forgiven.