Category Archives: Forgiveness

Healing From Guilt

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In our family devotions we are reading Daily Reflections on the Names of God (by Ava Pennington).  Today we considered God by his name Jehovah Rapha which means: “The Lord Who Heals.”

If you are like me, when you hear the word “healing” right away you think of God taking care of some physical problem. Certainly God cares about healing our physical infirmities but there is a deeper and more important aspect to Jehovah Rapha being our Healer.

In Psalm 38 King David points to Jehovah Rapha as the God who heals us of the physical and emotional burden we carry over the guilt of our past sins.  Here is what Ava said to our family this morning:

Guilt is more than a bad feeling.  It can cause physical complications such as hypertension, insomnia, or ulcers.  More importantly, guilt can destroy relationships with others and with the Lord.

David understood the physical and emotional burden of his sin.  We feel his pain and guilt in Psalm 38. Anxiousness weighed on his spirit, his wounds festered, and his strength failed.  Yet he wisely did not seek help from family or friends. His only hope or relief was in the Lord.

Today, the Lord is frequently the last place we go for healing. We cover our wounds with a bandage and hope the pain fades as we seek the world’s solutions. Counselors say guilt is old-fashioned baggage that should be discarded. Friends affirm our right to enjoy life without constraint. Alchohol and drugs temporarily deaden the pain. Yet the guilt and pain remain.

All the while, Yahweh Rapha waits for us to turn to Him. We we surrender to the Lord, He will treat the guilt that causes our pain.  He sent His Son for that very purpose.

Only Yaweh Rapha could heal David, and He is the only one who can heal us today.

Too often we try to cover up our guilt!  If we come to God in humble submission we will find true forgiveness and healing from the guilt of our past sins.  Maybe, just maybe we will find that our physical health will improve too!

If you would like to speak with a biblical counselor at Kitwe Church please email us at or call 0976153466.

Phil Hunt

Responding to Perfect Love

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Last week we began a new series on the theme of love.

The need for love is a powerful thing isn’t it? I mean everyone needs love. Even the toughest of men who act as if they don’t need anything or anyone still crave to be loved by someone. That is why every action film ever made always has a subplot of romantic love woven between all the scenes of martial arts, bullets, and bombs. We can’t turn on the television, computer, or radio without being bombarded with the world’s messages of love. Therapists even include it as one of man’s basic needs. But you know, we don’t need to site all the movies, music, and academic studies to prove man’s need of love. We all know it, because it is inside of us. We feel it. There is no doubt that we all need and crave love. That is why this series is so important. There is an old song entitled, “Looking for love in all the wrong places.” I think that is how most people feel. So where do we find love – perfect love? It will be found in the Bible – God’s love letter to us – his most precious creation.

Last Sunday’s message was entitled “finding perfect love.” Phil took us to I John 4 where we saw three important truths. (1) the Person of love – God is love. (2) the purpose of love – so we can know & abide in Christ and so we can have confidence on the day of judgment (3) the power of love – it frees us from phobias, frees us from torment, and frees us from doubt..

Today’s message is entitled “Responding to Perfect Love.

Last week Phil started us off with a question. He asked, “Do you love God?” This morning, I want to start us off with another question: “Does God love you?”

You say, of course he does. Phil said so last week. Okay, but we need this head knowledge to transfer to our hearts as well. This is a truly fundamental question. It is one thing to say, “God so loved the world.” That is a theological truth of John 3:16 and yes we are part of the world. But we need to make it very personal. Do you feel, do you sense, do you believe with absolute certainty that God loves you?

This week I asked my son Warrick, “Do you know that I love you?” He said, “Yeah, but not all the time. Sometime you are angry when I disobey and I think you hate me.” I responded, “Yes, it makes me sad and angry when you disobey, but I will always love you no matter what. I will never, ever hate you.” He smiled and went to bed with peace in his little heart.

Maybe when it comes to your relationship with God you feel a lot like Warrick. “Yeah, I know you say you love me God, but there are a lot of things in the Bible I don’t obey and sometimes when bad things happen to me I feel like you hate me.” Have you ever felt that way? I think we all have. So the question today is, “Does God love you?” This question is of the highest importance because if we don’t believe that God loves us then we will never allow ourselves to receive his perfect love.

If you have been to this Bible study for any length of time, you have heard us speak about this perfect love of God. When we are presented with a message we then have to respond to it. Our goal and prayer is that each person who attends this Bible study will research the claim that God loves you and that each person will eventually come to the point where you choose to accept this love – to receive it – to make it your own. But people do not receive things that they think are fake. They may tolerate it. They may refuse it, but they don’t receive it. So, today’s question is very important for you.

Last week Phil closed our time by looking at 1 John 4: 19 “We love him because he first loved us. “ There is a cause and an effect. God’s love for us causes us to love him. That takes us back to last week’s question: Do you love God? I mean do you adore him. Does your heart crave him? Do you invest time in building a relationship with him? If not, it is likely that you do not fully grasp how much he loves you.

So many people have a misconception about Christianity. They think of it primarily as a religion – a list of do’s and don’ts to gain the favor of a harsh, but all-powerful God. That is not what Christianity is all about! Christianity is primarily a relationship – a relationship between God and man. It is a relationship of love.

By the end of today I hope that you will be totally convinced that God LOVES you! I mean, that he is totally crazy about you! And I hope that by the end of the message today your heart will cry out – I want to love Him too! I hope you will come running to him saying, “This love that you offer me is the love I have looked for all of my life and nothing, absolutely NOTHING will keep me from this love.”

First, let’s be reminded of God’s Perfect Love for us, but let’s make this personal. God love’s you! How do I know this? More importantly, how can you believe this? Because God demonstrated his perfect love for you (VIDEO: “Sacrifice” from

God demonstrated his perfect love for you!

Romans 5:6-8 “6 For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. 7 For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die— 8 but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

From this passage we see some amazing truths about God’s love for you.

God pursued you when you were unlovely! Vs. 6-8a

None of us are naturally godly. None of us are naturally lovely. We are sinners who are difficult to love because of our own selfishness, and yet God loves us anyway.

God sacrificed for you! Vs. 8b

Jesus left the comforts and joy of heaven to come to the harshness of life on earth.  Jesus left the praise of angels to endure the accusations and mockery of those he came to save. Jesus did the messy work that no one else could do.

What do I mean by that? Perfect love is not clean & sterile. That is romance. That is a pleasant emotion. It is a kind of love. It is pleasant and it is fun. But it is not perfect love. Perfect love is “Agape love,” which Phil spoke of last week. Agape is one of 4 Greek words for our 1 English word “love.” The essence of agape love is self- sacrifice. Agape love is not a feeling; it’s a motivation for action that we are free to choose or reject. Agape is a sacrificial love that voluntarily suffers inconvenience, discomfort, and even death for the benefit of another without expecting anything in return. This is perfect love!

When Mandy and I were teenagers there was a man named Joshua Harris who wrote several excellent books on love. Here is what he said about perfect love: “The world takes us to a silver screen on which flickering images of passion and romance play, and as we watch, the world says, ‘This is love.’ God takes us to the foot of a tree on which a naked and bloodied man hangs and says, ‘This is love.’”

Have any of you seen the movie, “The Passion of the Christ?” Well, that movie has put the price of God’s love on display. Perfect love is messy! I am going to show you 2 photos on the next slide, but be warned. It is not pretty. If you can’t handle the sight of blood you might want to close your eyes for just a second. You see, perfect love is bloody. Perfect love is spoken of in beautiful words but demonstrated by painful sacrifice. This is the price of loving me. This is the price of loving you. It is the price that Jesus willingly paid to demonstrate the love of God – WHILE we were still sinners. This is perfect love.

Well, now that we’ve clearly seen the demonstration of God’s love – I hope you are becoming more convinced that God loves you. But now…

You must recognize the barriers preventing perfect love.

As Nathan said last week during our worship time. Each of us was created with a void – a hole that only God could fill. He created us to crave a relationship with Him that no human being could ever satisfy. We have just seen the great lengths to which he went to prove his love. So the question we must ask is, “Why wouldn’t a person respond by accepting it? Love is being offered! Why would you refuse it?

Well, back in August 1996, a new family with 2 teenage girls came to visit the church I attended. I new how intimidating it could be to visit for the first time so I always went and greeted all visitors to try to help them feel welcome & fit in. One of those girls was Mandy, who is obviously now my wife. Now I have already asked her permission to share this information with you today, so don’t worry. We won’t have marital problems after this message. On that day when we first met I tried to be loving by welcoming her, but it was very obvious she didn’t want anything to do with me…or anyone else at this church. The next day was the first day of our school year. As it turned out, she attended my school. Again, I wanted to help her feel welcome in a very large school. I tried being loving, but she made it very clear that she didn’t want anything to do with me at church or at school. Well the weeks turned into months and the more we saw each other the more she could see that I was sincere and we became friends. Love had triumphed! It was during that time that I discovered she wanted to be a missionary to Africa, just as I did. Suddenly a new kind of love started working in my heart – I developed a romantic interest in her, but again it was obvious she wanted nothing to do with me in that way. I figured that our “friendship love” was as far as things would ever go. Still, I would occasionally test the waters to see if she might be interested. Time after time I was rejected and my suggestions of dating were shot down. It took about 18 months before she became open to that idea. Then we ended up going off to separate colleges. Our potential “romantic love” would have to wait another 12 months. Well, since we are married now, I think you know how the story goes from there. The point of that story is that there were many barriers that I had to overcome as I pursued a loving relationship with Mandy.

So too, there are many obstacles that Christ faces in each of our hearts as he pursues a loving relationship with us.

Fear in our hearts.

Disbelief that such love exists/fear of disappointment. Perhaps others have let us down. Perhaps we’ve seen bad examples in our families of people who professed love, but didn’t live it out. Now this has caused us to be skeptical of God’s love as well.

Disbelief because of painful experiences in life. You want to believe that God is loving, but you wonder how can it be when there is suffering in your life. You ask, “If God loves me then why did he allow my husband to get cancer?” “If he loves me then why did he allow the thieves to come through and attack us before taking our things?”

Fear of rejection – Perhaps you believe such love exists, but you do not view yourself as worthy to receive it. You think you are too bad, that you have sinned too much for him to love you. These fears are a major hindrance to receiving God’s love. But, there is another type of barrier.

Pride in our hearts

Don’t want to be seen as “needing this love.” Someone who feels this way might say things like…

Christianity is a crutch. I am self-sufficient. To receive God’s love by putting faith in Jesus will be admitting I need someone other than myself.

I don’t want someone to save me. I want to save myself. I am a good person. I don’t need to be “forgiven.” I’m insulted that he thinks I need forgiveness. If I become a Christian it first means I must admit I am not the good person I have always thought of myself as being. It means I admit I am a sinner who has offended a holy God and I need to apologize. I need to ask forgiveness and I need to repent of (turn away from) the sins I enjoy.

Don’t want love from this person -“Jesus”. I admit I need love.  I admit I am a sinner. But I don’t want Jesus. I don’t want “this God.” I want one that is more fashionable. I want one that serves me. I want one that let’s love be a one-way street. He loves me. He serves me. He exists for my happiness and therefore will not require any love in return. Here’s the problem with that. You are describing a slave, a servant, a genie in a bottle – but you are not describing God. By very definition, God is the all-powerful creator worthy of worship. He has every right to demand love and service from us. We don’t have the right to demand it of him. He could make it a one-way street flowing from us to him, but in his love and mercy and grace he has made it a two way street.

To really drive this point home, let’s read Romans 5:6-8 again, but this time make it personal by replacing the word “we” with our own names.

“6 For while “Jamie” was still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly “Jamie”. 7 For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die— 8 but God shows his love for “Jamie” in that while “Jamie” was still a sinner, Christ died for “Jamie”.”

Did you insert your name there? It is true. His expression of love is that personal and that real.

We have now, seen these are the barriers that hinder us from experiencing the love we crave. Each of us face barriers to God’s love. Before we move on, I want you to identify which one is the one that is a hindrance to your relationship with God. Now, let’s quickly address the solutions:

  • Fear

1 John 4:18 “Perfect love casts out fear.”

  • Pride

James 4:8-9 “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble. Submit yourselves therefore to God and he will draw near to you.”

Now, with our barriers being identified let’s be reminded that God has demonstrated his love for us. He continues to demonstrate it in a millions ways from the moment of our birth. Everyday he shows kindness. Every day he gives us blessings we don’t deserve. Everyday he patiently, kindly waits for us to look past all the negative experiences of life to see just how much he loves us. He started his pursuit of you the very day Adam & Eve were expelled from the Garden of Eden for committing the first sin. He intensified that pursuit the day he was born as the baby in Bethlehem. He then demonstrated it in the clearest way possible as he hung on the cross. He now keeps exposing you to his daily love and kindness waiting for you to respond to his love. He is offering you a relationship of love with Him – the creator of the world – but he will not force it upon you. It has to be your choice. He knows all the love he wants to pour out on you. He has paid your debt. He has made his proposal. Now he awaits your response.

You Must Respond to God’s Perfect Love for you.

Acts 17:30-34 30 The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent, 31 because he has fixed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed; and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead.”32 Now when they heard of the resurrection of the dead, some mocked. But others said, “We will hear you again about this.” 33 So Paul went out from their midst. 34 But some men joined him and believed, among whom also were Dionysius the Areopagite and a woman named Damaris and others with them.

In that passage we see the three possible responses we can give God today.

  • Refuse him – vs. 32a
  • Research him more vs. 32b
  • Receive him – vs. 34

Earlier we said that God has been pursuing you because he wants a relationship with you. Some of you may have chosen to refuse Christ earlier in your life, but God has continued to gently lovingly pursue you. He knew that moving too far too fast ends up pushing you away, but he has been pursuing you and maybe you are reconsidering his offer. Some of you have been coming here to the Bible study for a long time. You had bad experiences before maybe at another church that reduced Christianity to a list of do’s and don’ts. But you have been researching Jesus more and you are convinced he is all he claims to be. You have heard of his offer of salvation from Phil, from Nathan, and from Dave. Now you are ready, but you wonder if the offer of entering a relationship with him still stands of if you have waited too long. The answer is no. It is available to you today. Perhaps you are ready to receive him.

Earlier I told you about how I pursued Mandy because I desired a relationship with her. Well, when I was absolutely convinced she was the right one and I believed she felt the same way I took the biggest risk of my life. I asked her if she would marry me. It was in June of 2000 and it happened right here in Zambia at Victoria Falls. That day I confessed again my love for her and then asked her to make a decision. Would she spend the rest of her life with me letting me love her, care for her, provide for and protect her. Thankfully she said yes. Today, Jesus is asking you that same question. Will you spend the rest of your life in a relationship with him – letting him love you, care for you, provide for you, and protect you. Well, here is how you respond if you want to receive him as your Savior.

Romans 10:9-10, 13 9 “If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. 13 For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

As we come to a close today, I would like to do something just a bit different. I want to give you some time before leaving here to think through what you have just heard. I want to give you an opportunity before leaving here to respond to God’s perfect love. I am going to play a song as background music while you take this opportunity to reflect on what you have heard today and spend some time talking to God in prayer. Perhaps this is your opportunity to respond to God and accept his perfect love. Perhaps you need to keep researching him and his claims. Perhaps you are already a Christian but you want to thank him for his great love that we have been reminded of today. Whatever your response, let’s spend some time talking to him before we dismiss.

Jamie Smith

Download the .pdf version of Responding to Perfect Love

Finding Freedom Through Forgiveness

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How do you react when you are wronged?

Do you feel sorry for yourself? Perhaps you become angry? Maybe you don’t blow up but you become critical and judgmental of the one who offended you? Do you develop a complaining spirit? Perhaps your personality is to bottle it all up inside? Do you replay the offense over and over thereby ensuring that you develop a bitter spirit?

When you repeatedly drive a tractor down the same path during rainy season it won’t be long until the tyres have created deep ruts in the ground.  No matter how you might try to steer back to the top of the path your tyres will quickly slip back into the deep ruts.  Eventually you don’t need to hold the steering wheel on the tractor, the ruts are so deep that the tyres will stay in them with no help from you!  That is exactly what we do when we replay an offense over and over in our mind.  We fInd ourselves in the rut of bitterness!

King Louis XII of France said, “Nothing smells so sweet as the dead body of your enemy.”  And He was right! I have taken pleasure in that smell… and if you would be truthful, you have too!

My father experienced a mental breakdown when I was a young child.  At times my dad was psychotic, on at least three occasions he tried to commit suicide.  Etched deep into my childhood memory are times of physical and emotional abuse.  On at least one occasion I feared for my life at the hands of my father.  From the time I was eight until I was eighteen I grew increasingly angry and bitter towards my dad.  On the third suicide attempt, paramedics did an emergency tracheotomy and saved his life… I remember being angry that they had been able to save him.  I was angry, I was filled with bitterness toward my father for his sins against me.

When I was eighteen God mercifully worked in my life through the Scripture that I want to share with you today.  It was not something that happened in an instant of time, but God mercifully helped me understand truth, and through that truth I was able to forgive my Dad for his sins agains me.  I found freedom through forgiveness…  the same freedom that I pray you will find in your situation.

Bitterness is the poison you swallow hoping the other person dies.  Think about that for a moment!  The person you hope will die seemingly lives happily on oblivious to your anguish.  Your joy, mental focus and many other aspects of life are being consumed by the anger, bitterness and resentment over their sins against you.

Three NT Greek words are translated “Forgive” in our English Bible:

  1. To let go – to give up rights to what is owed as debt
  2. To set free – remove the chains, release
  3. To pardon – to withhold the penalty. To grant forgiveness.

To forgive is to give up the right of retaliation!

In our text Peter is asking a burning question (21).  According to the Pharisees, Jewish tradition required forgiveness for an offense 3 times but no more. Peter knew that Jesus always went beyond the Pharisees so he was being generous to suggest forgiveness 7 times.

Jesus gives the answer in verse 22. He said not seven times but seventy times seven.  A quick calculation bring the total to 490 times!  But Jesus is not suggesting that we keep count, this was his way of pointing Peter to the fact that forgiveness is unlimited!  God expects us to forgive every time, all the time.

Jesus then gives the disciples a lesson about forgiveness (23-35).  The whole point of this lesson is that “God eternally and unconditionally forgives those who repent of so immense a debt against him that it is unconscionable for believers to refuse to grant forgiveness to each other for sins that remain trivial in comparison.” [Cf. T. Deidun, “The Parable of the Unmerciful Servant (Mt. 18:23–35),” BTB 6 (1976): 219, on the change of heart demanded by the love of God made manifest in Jesus. Sourced from Logos Bible Software.]

The Kingdom of Heaven speaks only of those who are true citizens of the kingdom through saving faith in Jesus Christ. The King refers to God the Father and the servants are mankind.

There are four big ideas in this text that you must personalize if you are to find freedom through forgiveness:


Accounts will be settled with every man (23).

We all owe a debt we could never pay (24)

This servant embezzled what belonged to the King and consumed it on himself until nothing was left.

  • 1 Talent = 6,000 days wages
  • 10,000 Talents = 60,000,000 days wages = 164,000 years of work
  • At a rate of $50 per day = $3 Billion

We are that servant! We have a debt that we can never pay!

We have received knowledge of God

Ro 1: 18-21: For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, 19 because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. 20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, 21 because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened.

We have been given life.

Acts 17:25 Nor is He worshiped with men’s hands, as though He needed anything, since He gives to all life, breath, and all things.

We have also been given the opportunity to give God what is due Him, but instead we squander God’s property in sin. You see the inescapable reality is that all sin is against God!

Col. 1:16 For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him.

Rom. 11:36 For of Him and through Him and to Him are all things, to whom be glory forever. Amen.

Justice demands payment in full! (25)

Justice demands that we lose everything!  For this servant the law demanded that a thief make restitution and if he was unable to do so all of his property would be seized and sold to restore the debt.  If that still was not enough, the thief and his family could be sold as slaves, or cast into “debtors prison” until the debt was cleared.

Ex. 22:3 If the sun has risen on him, there shall be guilt for his bloodshed. He should make full restitution; if he has nothing, then he shall be sold for his theft.

Justice demands that we are punished for our sins throughout eternity in the Lake of Fire.

Rev. 20:11-15 Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away. And there was found no place for them. 12 And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books. 13 The sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them. And they were judged, each one according to his works. 14 Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. 15 And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire.

Rev 21:8 But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.”

We have been forgiven a great debt. (26-27)

The servant when confronted with his crime repents and pleads with the king to be given a chance to make restitution (26).  He humbled himself before the kind, overwhelmed with the enormity of his wrongdoing.  The servant repents and acknowledges his need to repay.

Note the response of the King (27)!  He is moved with compassion and forgave the servant of all the debt!  This is a great truth for you and me!  There is no debt of sin so great that God cannot or will not forgive!

We see the same response when the prodigal son returns home the Father embraces and restores him to his place in the family! (Lk. 15:20)

The King released the servant.  He set him free from the penalty of his sin. He Freely forgave! No conditions and no hesitations, it was an act of pure grace!

You might be wondering, how can God do that?  How can a just God cancel the penalty of my sin and yours and set us free? The answer is that God can forgive because of the cross.

Rom. 6:10 For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God.

2 Co. 6:10 For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

God’s forgiveness coordinates with his justice.  god’s forgiveness is based upon the payment of the penalty of sin by a substitute – Jesus Christ!  God is free to forgive anyone and everyone who comes to Him through Christ!


This servant rushed from the presence of the king the recipient of overwhelming grace and forgiveness.  He seeks out his fellow servant who owed him 100 denarii.  A denarii was equal to 1 day’s wage.  So this fellow servant owed him the equivalent of 100 days wages.   At $50 per day this was equivalent to $5,000.  Now $5000 seems like a lot of money to me, and it would be a significant debt if I was owed that money by a friend; but it is nothing compared to $3 billion dollars!

Attitude of the servant (28-29)

Anger – “laid his hands on him”(28). Strong emotion of irritation or agitation that occurs when a need or expectation is not met.

Bitterness – “took him by the throat” (28). Feeling of anger & resentment caused by perceived unfairness in suffering or by adverse circumstances.

Resentment – “pay me what you owe” (28). Bitter indignation of having been treated unfairly.

Revenge – “threw him into prison” (30). Returning injury or insult.

Rom. 12:17-21 Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of all men. 18 If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men. 19 Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. 21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

Choice of the servant (29-30)

This fellow-servant begged the man, using the very same words he had used with the king (29). But  “he would not” listen to the plea.  This speaks of a continued and persistent refusal (30)!

Forgiveness is costly. To forgive someone it means you agree to live with the consequences of the other person’s sins. You pay the price of the evil you forgive.

By the way, you are going to live with those consequences regardless!  Your only choice is whether you will do so in the bitterness of un-forgiveness or in the freedom of forgiveness.


The reaction of the other servants (31)

They were grieved! They went to the Master to complain about how their friend had responded to the one who owed him the debt. The lesson for us is this: We should go to the Master in prayer for those who are in bondage to the sin of un-forgiveness!

The reaction of the Master – He will call us to account for our unforgiving attitude (32-33)

Our forgiveness of one another is based on God’s forgiveness of us (33).  We are called to forgive the offender because of Christ’s forgiveness of us!

Col 3:13 Bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do.

When a person hurts you, they continue to hurt you until you forgive. You don’t forgive someone for their sake, you do it for God’s sake, because He commands us to forgive.

Because God commands us to forgive, we can!  God’s commands are His enablings.  Remember Peter who saw Jesus walking on the water and requested to be allowed to get out of the boat and walk to Jesus.  Jesus commanded Peter, “Come.”  Peter stepped out and walked on the water!  I wouldn’t advise stepping out a boat and trying to walk on water on your next voyage, you will likely drown!  God’s commands enable us to obey them!  Because God commands us to forgive, when we “step out of the boat” we will walk on top of bitterness, anger, resentment and bitterness.


From the torture

Forgiveness sets us free from the torture of the stress, hardship, pressures that come to the one who is holding to an unforgiving spirit.

Jas 2:13 For judgment is without mercy to the one who has shown no mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgment.

Forgiveness also sets us free from the schemes of Satan.

2 Cor. 2:10-11 Now whom you forgive anything, I also forgive. For if indeed I have forgiven anything, I have forgiven that one for your sakes in the presence of Christ, 11 lest Satan should take advantage of us; for we are not ignorant of his devices.

Un-forgiveness is a device of Satanic control. If he can controls our mind, he can influence our actions.

Un-forgiveness is the root of bitterness.  When bitterness has fully matured it brings forth destruction and death!

Heb 12:15 looking carefully lest anyone fall short of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up cause trouble, and by this many become defiled;

Eph. 4:31-32 Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. 32 And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.

Bitterness is extremely harmful to you – it is a poison. Remember what we said earlier,Bitterness is the poison you swallow while hoping the other person dies.  The bitterness in my Dad’s life over being abandoned by his mother as a little boy eventually led to his own breakdown.

Bitterness also destroys what is good and beautiful around you.  Bitterness always affects others! My Dad lost his relationship with his own family family, he lost his ministry, his peace, and his joy.

From the debt.

Forgiveness is a debt we owe our master!

Forgiveness is not forgetting, it is a deliberate choice not to bring up the past.

Heb. 10:17 And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more.

Psa. 103:12 As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.

How do you forgive from the heart? (35)

  1. Acknowledge the hurt and the hate.
  2. Decide that you will bear the burdens of their offenses by not using the information against them.
  3. Don’t wait to forgive until you feel like forgiving – you will never get there. Feelings take time to heal after the choice to forgive is made and Satan has lost his place (Eph 4:26-27) Freedom is gained, not a feeling.

Forgiveness is dealing with your pain and leaving the other person to God. Pray:  “Lord, I forgive (name) for (specify).

Forgiveness sets me FREE!

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