Friday, August 14, 2009

Day 28: Genesis 27-28; Matthew 18:21-35

As I read today’s reading, one theme kept coming to the forefront, forgiveness. In Genesis we read of the rivalry between the twins Jacob and Esau. Esau is so mad at Jacob that he is conspiring to kill his own brother. Yes, Jacob did some stupid things, and deserves the anger, but even so, it’s never right to plan the murder of your own brother.

Right after this, we turn to Matthew 18, where Jesus tells his disciples to forgive indefinitely (“ seventy times seven!” (Matthew 18:22). This is definitely not the kind of attitude Esau had in Genesis. He wanted to kill, but Jesus wants us to forgive.

Why? Because Jesus has already paid the ultimate price for our sins. He forgave us, so we need to forgive others (as the parable of the Unforgiving Debtor demonstrates).

Forgiving is easier said then done. I know there have been times in my life when I responded to a situation like Esau. No, I didn’t want to kill anyone, but I became bitter over certain injustices and held a grudge against that person. I felt that by “withholding” my forgiveness I was somehow “punishing” that person more. But that’s not my place. God calls me to forgive no matter how hard it may be.

By forgiving and loving that person, I am furthering the kingdom of God, instead of hindering it.

Prayer: Lord, please help me to forgive today, however hard it may be. Help me to love that person with a love that can only come from you.

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