We are all going to look back to our childhood someday and wished that we hadn’t walked in the wilderness for 40 years as a lost child.
As a child we know how to dream. We are creative and we trust others easily. These are the things we do throughout our childhood. When something really bad happens to us we learn how to bury things deep inside, as if it never happened.
As I look back at my childhood I was always conjuring up ideas on how to change my world. I loved nature so much I would flee to our small little forest all to escape my everyday life.
I was around seven years old when I was playing outside with the neighborhood kids. Nothing odd or strange about that, I played with these kids in our neighborhood all the time. There was a particular day when a van was part of our play day. The van was parked in a vacant space a little ways from our home. Sometime had passed when I heard my mom calling my name. I couldn’t answer nor, could I come to her. My mom’s voice became more frantic. I still couldn’t answer or come.
Eventually, when I was released and able to return home I got into a lot of trouble. I didn’t know what to do or to say except to pay the consequences for not coming when called. How would I or could I tell my family what happened? I couldn’t tell them so, I kept it locked up inside, or so, I thought.
The Foundation of Forgiveness
For followers of Christ, the goal is to become increasingly like Him, and one of the best ways to reflect His character is through forgiveness. Yet sometimes this is a quality we are reluctant to demonstrate because it seems so unfair, especially if the wrong done to us is ongoing or particularly painful. To forgive appears to diminish the offense and counteract justice.
The foundation for our forgiveness of others is God’s forgiveness of us
Today’s passage contains a parable in which a man is forgiven a sum too exorbitant to repay. Yet he turns around and demands immediate payment from someone who owes him a small amount. That’s what we are like when we think others’ wrongs against us must be avenged even though God has forgiven us.
Un-forgiveness torments us, not the wrongdoer
It’s a caustic poison within us that corrupts our emotions, stunts us spiritually, and stresses our bodies. When we don’t release the offender, we end up imprisoned in bitterness, resentment, and hostility—and that is sin.
Forgiveness doesn’t negate the wrong done to us in our childhood.
It doesn’t deny the offense or the resulting pain but let’s go of the right to get even. Vengeance is God’s responsibility, not ours (Romans 12:19). We don’t have all the facts, nor can we know the offender’s true motive. Only God can judge accurately and fairly. When Jesus suffered the ultimate injustice of the cross, He entrusted Himself to the Father (1 Peter 2:21-24). Can you follow His example and trust God with wrongs done to you?
So, when we look back to our childhood and we learn how to forgive those that have done wrong we will no longer feel like a prisoner.