Community is not possible without the willingness to forgive one another ‘seventy-seven times’ (see Matthew 18:22). Forgiveness is the cement of community life. Forgiveness holds us together through good and bad times, and it allows us to grow in mutual love.  ~Henri Nouwen

You can’t very well remain cold and be a person who has learned what it is to walk in forgiveness at the very same time.  People who have any similarities with Jesus—learn what it is to forgive.

When Jesus showed up, the Pharisees just couldn’t understand his fascination with forgiving reprobates.  Here they were throwing rocks at sinners and Jesus has the nerve to call out these shame-based characters.  When you are coming from a religious mindset, you can’t possibly understand what it is to forgive—all you know is pride, pomp, and stinginess. 

When you approach forgiveness from a Jesus frame of mind, you get it—because forgiveness is all about humility and generosity based on mercy.  

 23″Therefore the kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who wished to settle accounts with his servants. 24 When he began to settle, one was brought to him who owed him ten thousand talents. 25 And since he could not pay, his master ordered him to be sold, with his wife and children and all that he had, and payment to be made. 26 So the servant fell on his knees, imploring him, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you everything.’ 27 And out of pity for him, the master of that servant released him and forgave him the debt. 28 But when that same servant went out, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii, and seizing him, he began to choke him, saying, ‘Pay what you owe.’ 29 So his fellow servant fell down and pleaded with him, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you.’ 30 He refused and went and put him in prison until he should pay the debt. 31 When his fellow servants saw what had taken place, they were greatly distressed, and they went and reported to their master all that had taken place. 32 Then his master summoned him and said to him, ‘You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt because you pleaded with me. 33 And should not you have had mercy on your fellow servant, as I had mercy on you?’ 34 And in anger his master delivered him to the jailers, until he should pay all his debt. 35So also my heavenly Father will do to every one of you, if you do not forgive your brother from your heart (Matthew 18:23-35, ESV).”

There will always remain a segment of folks within the four walls of “church” who never grasp what forgiveness is about, or who it is for.

Forgiveness is for sinners.

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