Most people enjoy playing games, especially board games. They’re fun and interactive, but it also allows us to get our competitive juices flowing. With board games, you roll a die or spin something, then you move forward, take a risk, cash it all in, etc. Win or lose, when the game is over, the board and all the pieces go back in the box. Many times, though, these board games mirror life.
In the board game Sorry, the objective is to be the first player to get all four of your colored pawns from your start space to your “home” space. And if you draw that coveted Sorry card, you get to take one of your pawns in the start position and move it directly to a square occupied by an opponent’s pawn, knocking them back to the beginning. All while saying, “Sorry.” But you’re not really sorry, are you? You say it while celebrating and laughing.
But as people of God, we must learn how to forgive and be forgiven. We need to know how to say, “I am sorry” and “I forgive you.” Forgiveness is a subject we must get right in our life. It is not optional (Matt. 6:14-15). Everyone has been wronged, offended or sinned against at some point. Maybe it was this morning. Maybe it was yesterday. Or last week. Or last month. Or last year. Or during your childhood. Whatever it is and whenever it was, forgiveness is essential. Without it, there’s no getting past the pain, the wounds don’t heal, and we never get our lives back. We get a hold of forgiveness in our life, we’ll get a hold of our life. It’s that big of a deal.
Forgiveness is freedom for both parties. Forgiveness does not mean that if I forgive you, I release you from this. Until I forgive somebody, we’re both in chains. It binds the two of us together. The unforgiving servant in Matt. 18 had been forgiven by the king, but his heart had not changed. He was still bound to his fellow servant who “owed him a hundred denarii” (v. 28). Forgiveness is necessary for our own healing.
If we choose not to forgive, it destroys relationships (Matt. 18:28-31) and we neglect the important aspects of our life: our marriage; children; brethren; lost souls; the Lord’s work. But when we choose to forgive, we reflect the character and love of God. We live in an unforgiving world. If we’re a forgiving people, it will show.
Do not forget God’s forgiveness. That is where the unforgiving servant went wrong. He failed to appreciate his own forgiveness. Where does forgiveness need to happen in your life? Because we all need forgiveness from God.