One of my favorite topics to study in the scriptures is forgiveness. Probably because I’m so bad at it! Even when I get an apology, my memory of any and all offenses lives on. My husband and I were joking last night about how I, um, demand apologies and how I should maybe work on that. My argument is that it would probably be easier for people to just apologize to me before I can demand one but I’ll never learn that way. Or so he says.
In my scripture study this week, I read a little bit about forgiveness and the example we’re supposed to follow. I read the parable about “a certain king” who was owed ten thousand talents by one of his servants. As the servant begged for mercy, the king was “moved with compassion” and forgave the debt. But that same servant, when he was owed a much smaller amount by a fellow servant, didn’t show mercy at all. And as a result, the king’s compassion turned to “wroth” and the servant felt the weight of his debt once again.
“So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses.”
As a recovering grudge-holder (I fall off the wagon a whole lot), I am pretty familiar with the servant’s behavior. We know our reasons for everything we do, right? So we can see how we deserve compassion. When someone has wronged us, our understanding of the need for the compassion is suddenly nowhere to be found. But since I am in recovery, I also know the sweet freedom that comes when you do remember compassion and forgive someone that has hurt you. You free your heart from anger and bitterness. But more than that, you claim God’s forgiveness for yourself. I think even an honest effort to forgive invites his mercy into your life. Forgiveness is in our best interest, in more ways than one. I hope to remember that in the future, that I should demand mercy of myself and not apologies from others.
Happy Sunday, everybody.