Turn Your “Rights” Over to God
A man’s wisdom gives him patience; it is to his glory to overlook an offense.
In Matthew 18:23-35, Jesus tells a parable about a servant who owed millions of dollars (10,000 talents) to his king. When he defaulted, the king ordered that he and his whole family be sold. The servant begged for mercy and was forgiven. Then, the servant went out, found those in debt to him and did not show them mercy. When the king found out, he threw the wicked ser- vant to the torturers until he repaid all he owed.
Our debt to God because of sin has been forgiven by His grace. How can we who are forgiven fail to forgive others? Are we higher than God? Is our neighbor’s meager offense against us greater than our infinite offenses against a righteous God? No.
We first need to understand the sovereignty of God in circumstances. He is using even the injustice against us to achieve His purposes. Understanding this, and that revenge is His, our anger should be assuaged. Overlook small offenses. If someone sins against you, you need to humbly bring it to his attention ((Matthew 18:15). If he asks for forgiveness, you are to forgive him as God in Christ has forgiven us.
Joseph. Joseph had every reason to be angry against his brothers, but in wisdom he confronted them. He told them not to be angry with themselves, but to know that God had intended for good what they had planned for evil (Genesis 45:4-5; 50:20).
Jesus. He warned us about anger’s kinship to murder (Matthew 5:21-22). He taught forgiveness and mercy, even toward enemies (Matthew 5:44-45). Most importantly, He lived a life that exemplified these qualities. When reviled and beaten He was calm, resting in His wisdom. On the cross He said, “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34 KJV).
Prayer of Application
Dear God, thank You for the forgiveness that is mine in Christ Jesus. Help me to be ready to forgive others by calmness in the face of injustice against me, knowing You are in control.
Copyright 2014 – Robert C. Beasley