consider for a moment the fearsome reality of v. 35. Consider, for another similar example, the words of Matthew 6:12. God has no tolerance for the person who is quick to receive forgiveness from God but then is unwilling to forgive the one who wrongs him.


4. Forgiveness is the only road to freedom.

- We should acknowledge this morning that forgiveness is risky. It is a bit of a gamble. But it
certainly beats the other option. Lewis Smedes writes, “The question is not whether forgiving is
dangerous, but only whether it is a safer bet. It almost always comes down to where we get the best odds. Forgiving is risky. . .. The risk, I believe, is worth taking.”

- Forgiveness does have its risks, but our only other choice (our only other ‘road’) is to hold onto the bitterness and anger. How many of us this morning could name someone who’s life has been ruined simply because they continue to hold onto a wrong done them?

- Consider the following two words of wisdom:
“Whoever opts for revenge should dig two graves.” (Chinese proverb)
“. . .not forgiving someone is like drinking rat poison and then waiting for the rat to die.” (Anne
Lamott, Traveling Mercies)

- Forgiveness is risky, but it is the only road to freedom. The other road always leads to self-
destruction.


5. Forgiveness is not Jesus’ suggestion.

- Matthew 18:21-35 and numerous other passages make it clear the forgiveness is Jesus’ command.

- As we’ve considered these various reasons this morning, I hope they’ve inspired you as to why
forgiveness is the wise choice. But at the end of the day for the obedient Christian, it isn’t simply
the wisest choice, it is your only choice.
Philip Olson
September 9, 2008
Great outline! I''ve preached on this passage about a dozen times -- thanks for the orderly format.