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Devotional Thought

Devotional Thought : Matthew 18:31

May 20, 2007

When the other servants saw what had happened, they were greatly distressed and went and told their master everything that had happened. Matthew 18:31

Forgiven people, forgive people. In this story that Jesus told, the servants saw their master forgive the enormous debt of their fellow servant so their expectation was that he would in turn forgive. When he didn’t “they were greatly distressed.”

We are forgiven people. We have been forgiven the enormous debt of our sin against a holy God. The expectation is that we will forgive others their smaller debts of sin against us. Perhaps the servant in this story didn’t realize that he had been forgiven. Maybe he was congratulating himself for having talked his way out of his debt or maybe he thought he still had to pay it back. Whatever the reason he didn’t act like a forgiven person.

Zacchaeus acts like a forgiven man. He responds by wanting to reimburse all those he cheated. The woman at the well acts like a forgiven woman. She wants to introduce the whole town to Jesus. Their actions indicate that forgiveness has changed them.

Perhaps we don’t realize the enormity of the debt we have been forgiven. Compare to others our misdeeds don’t seem that bad. However in the presence of a holy God Isaiah says, “Woe to me! …I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips …” (Isaiah 6:5). Likewise, Peter says to Jesus, “Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!”(Luke 5:8).

Do we act like forgiven people? Do we respond with gratitude to the forgiveness offered to us? Do we still expect compensation from others for their sins against us?

May we always act like forgiven people who extend forgiveness to others.

by Susan Barnes
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Susan Barnes

~ writer of insightful posts about God and faith