The stump and the splinter
Jesus tells of the man who owed the king R20 million. The man was bankrupt and couldn’t repay the money. The king wanted to throw him in jail, but he begged and begged, and the king’s heart softened towards him and he wrote off all his debt. (Maybe I should go and tell this story to my bank manager!)
Outside the palace the man met someone who owed him R9 000. He demanded his money and when the man couldn’t pay, he had him thrown in jail. When the king heard about this, he became extremely angry, and had the man thrown in jail and tortured.
What do you do when others make mistakes? Why do we enjoy it when others make mistakes? Yes, we quickly see their mistakes, but our own we do not see. For some reason our eyes can see a splinter right on the other side, while we look right past our own stumps.
Actually, that is not true. Our stumps have been removed. Jesus has died on the cross for our sins, for our mistakes, and for everything we do wrong. Yes, we no longer have to drag along that heavy bag full of mistakes. How wonderful!
Now for the difficult part: We must forgive and forget other people’s splinters. That is the instruction: 13Forgive as quickly and completely as the Master forgave you.
When your debt has been written off, you must do the same for the people who owe you something. If God erases your mistakes, you have to erase other people’s mistakes. Do not delight in other people’s mistakes.
It’s not that easy, especially for people close to you. How easily we point out our spouse’s mistakes! How many times do we recount mistakes from the past and hit them with it? That is not what God wants us to do!
God wants us to give the freedom that He gave us, to the people around us. They deserve as little as we do. Still, it’s not just for forgiving. Lizzy struggled:
My brother was shot fatally by five robbers in the area where he lives right in front of his house while his wife and four children were inside. It was never confirmed that it had been a robbery, since he had the week’s wages with him, but the robbers never touched it.
That morning I came to the biggest crossroad in my life: To hate or to forgive.
I decided it was not up to me to take revenge and I gave it to Jesus.
I decided that every knee would bow and every tongue confess that He is the Almighty and that they would admit their sin before Him.
It is not easy to forgive. But it is expected of us. We must treat others the way that God treats us. We must share forgiveness the way God shares it with us. Excessively and without asking questions.
Let’s turn around the system inside us and overlook one another’s mistakes. Let’s look for the good in one another. Let’s boost one another’s good points. Let’s hand out compliments left, right and centre. Let’s shower God’s grace, which you and I have received in excess, over others.
Who do you have to forgive?
Can you do it?
How must you do it?
Father, thank you for looking past our sin because Jesus’ blood has absolved us. Please let your Holy Spirit help us to live right and to be obedient in doing what You want us to do. Amen.