16 Mar He Chose Forgiveness Without Hypocrisy (Forty Days with Jesus – Day 7, Feb 24th)
Read Matthew 18:23-35
Thought for the Day: Faith and forgiveness mean nothing if we don’t live them!
Few characters provide a better case for forgiveness than Inspector Javert from Les Miserables, a man who struggled for his entire life because he never learned to forgive. After catching Jean Valjean breaking the law, Javert spent the rest of his life obsessively chasing him throughout France. Despite the fact that he outwardly professed to follow God and accept Christ’s forgiveness, he was tormented by his inability to forgive Valjean. In the end, Javert’s inability to forgive destroyed him.
Jesus told the story of a man very much like Inspector Javert. He was a servant who owed a tremendous debt he was unable to pay to the king. Amazingly, when he begged for more time, the king instead wiped out his debt and gave him a fresh start. With this fresh start, the servant turned to another man who owed him a small debt, refused to show him the same forgiveness, and had that man thrown in jail. When the king heard this, he was furious and had his servant thrown in jail. Jesus concluded this story by saying, “So also my heavenly Father will do to every one of you, if you do not forgive your brother from your heart.”
Do we go through times in our lives when we act like the unforgiving servant or Inspector Javert? If we profess faith in Christ but are unwilling to extend forgiveness, we quickly learn that this faith does us no good. As we go through this season of Lent, let’s remember that the forgiveness we have received gives us the incredible opportunity to forgive those around us!
Reflect & Pray – Is there any area of my life where I am being a hypocrite? Am I willing to see that saying I have faith in Christ is meaningless if I am unwilling to forgive? God, please give me the courage to forgive those who wrong me!
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