Tuesday, August 26, 2014

The Forgiveness Challenge

With all the commotion making its way through the internet lately about the “ALS Ice Bucket Challenge” it planted an idea in my mind. What if we all took the “Forgiveness Challenge” instead? It requires no money. It requires no cold water. It requires no internet or social networking account. It requires only your desire to forgive everyone who sins against you EVEN IF they cannot repay you for what they have done.

In the Gospel of Matthew, we hear the ultimate “Forgiveness Challenge” explained. “’Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven times?’ Jesus said to him, ‘I do not say to you up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.” (Matthew 18.21-22) This is followed by the parable of forgiveness (Matthew `18.23-35) which includes a king (God), a servant (you) and another servant (someone else). The king has called all his servants to settle their accounts with him, but in the face of not being able to repay the king, the servant (that’s you) begs to be given more time. The king, moved by compassion, forgives the entire debt. However the servant (that’s you again) refuses to do the same for the other servant (that’s someone else) so he is thrown into debtors prison (that’s hell) until he repays the debt, which we already know he cannot do.

Jesus “called you out” for the ultimate “Forgiveness Challenge” when He says, “So My heavenly Father also will do to you if each of you, from his heart, does not forgive his brother his trespasses.” (Matthew 18.35) You have 24 hours to complete this challenge or risk a lot worse than a bucket of ice water.


Jennifer Newlin said...

Love it.

Forgive me Father, for my sins against you.

Fr Athanasios C Haros said...

May the Lord forgive us both.