Forgiving a person does not mean you condone what they did to you, nor does it cancel the consequences of their actions; but it releases you from the pain; helps you move on with your life; gets rid of the anger and malice in your heart that can drag you down; it rids you of the victim mentality; and may even keep you from suffering physical ailments. To drive home forgiveness from God’s perspective, Jesus told the story found in Matthew chapter 18. He told how a king forgave the debt of a man unable to pay it. Yet that same man went out and demanded a much smaller debt from his neighbor who could not pay him. When the king heard how ungrateful man treated his neighbor, the king had the ingrate put in jail until he paid fully. Jesus summed up the story by saying, “That’s what my heavenly Father will do to you if you refuse to forgive your brothers and sisters from your heart.” God wants us to forgive our brothers and sisters because He has forgiven us. Perhaps Jesus told us to forgive 70 times because we may need to keep on forgiving the person who wronged us until our own hearts are at peace.

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