“I forgave you your entire debt because you begged me to. Should you not have had pity on your fellow servant, as I had pity on you?”// Matthew 18:32-33
I’m not a vengeful or unforgiving person. My anger may sprung up swiftly, but it fades, and I’m soon eager to forgive and forget. However, that changed the day I found out that a priest, whom I trusted as a spiritual father, had been living a double life and was committing sins, including the abuse of young children. My anger towards him rose and didn’t dissipate.
For years, I would hear his name, and immediately the rage would boil once again. My eagerness to forgive was nowhere to be found when it came to this man.
However, I knew I couldn’t harbor this hatred and still claim that I loved God as a faithful daughter. God spoke directly to my heart when Jesus said, “I forgave you your entire debt because you begged me to. Should you not have had pity on your fellow servant, as I had pity on you?” (Matthew 18:23-33). Those words were difficult to hear.
God was challenging me to forgive this man, who had since died, and pray for his soul. Everything inside me rebelled against it because it felt like I was also excusing his horrendous behavior. I begged God to take the anger and replace it with the grace of mercy, forgiveness, and trust that He would take care of the rest. Eventually it came.
It wasn’t instantaneous, and there are still moments when his name comes up and my anger rises, but I quickly ask for God’s forgiveness. I recall the mercy God has bestowed on my life and say, “I forgive him, Lord, as You have forgiven me. I leave judgment to You and offer this struggle as a prayer for those he has hurt. Please bring them healing and recovery.”
Forgiveness is not easy, especially when the pain is deep. But we are the ones who benefit from letting go of the weight of unforgiveness and handing that burden to Our Lord.
Let us pray together, “Breathe your spirit of mercy within us, O Lord. Wash away the anger and bitterness and heal us anew.”Heal us anew. // Bobbi Rol Click To Tweet