Summary: 7th of 10 Some things are supposed to be shared because when they are everyone benefits. One of the most important things that we all need is forgiveness – yet so many will eagerly accept it while they grudgingly grant it. In Matthew 18 Jesus tells a st
Forgiveness is Supposed to be Shared
Some things are supposed to be shared because when they are everyone benefits. One of the most important things that we all need is forgiveness – yet so many will eagerly accept it while they grudgingly grant it. In Matthew 18 Jesus tells a story which lays out the standard for us all.
Matthew 18:23-35 (NCV)
23 “The kingdom of heaven is like a king who decided to collect the money his servants owed him. 24 When the king began to collect his money, a servant who owed him several million dollars was brought to him. 25 But the servant did not have enough money to pay his master, the king. So the master ordered that everything the servant owned should be sold, even the servant’s wife and children. Then the money would be used to pay the king what the servant owed.
26 “But the servant fell on his knees and begged, ‘Be patient with me, and I will pay you everything I owe.’ 27 The master felt sorry for his servant and told him he did not have to pay it back. Then he let the servant go free.
28 “Later, that same servant found another servant who owed him a few dollars. The servant grabbed him around the neck and said, ‘Pay me the money you owe me!’
29 “The other servant fell on his knees and begged him, ‘Be patient with me, and I will pay you everything I owe.’
30 “But the first servant refused to be patient. He threw the other servant into prison until he could pay everything he owed. 31 When the other servants saw what had happened, they were very sorry. So they went and told their master all that had happened.
32 “Then the master called his servant in and said, ‘You evil servant! Because you begged me to forget what you owed, I told you that you did not have to pay anything. 33 You should have showed mercy to that other servant, just as I showed mercy to you.’ 34 The master was very angry and put the servant in prison to be punished until he could pay everything he owed.
35 “This king did what my heavenly Father will do to you if you do not forgive your brother or sister from your heart.”
Forgiveness grants immunity and the releases all claims
I received a letter from our attorney about the land on Willoughby Road this week on Wednesday.
In the letter was a sheaf of papers about our lawsuit against Alaiedon Township. We went to court for help because the township refused to give us due process in their denial of a special use permit for a church building. Now here we are, almost 2 years later, with a letter asking us to agree to “release, acquit, forever discharge and covenant to hold harmless” the Alaiedon Township Board for their actions against the Meridian Christian Church.
We are letting go...
We’re going to sell the land and let it go. Oh, their insurance company is paying us $10,000.00 for signing but we still stand to lose money by the time everything is done. Especially when you consider the interest paid on the loan, the costs of the survey, the test borings, drawings, and attorney’s fee’s.
But it is much more than just money. The Land Team has worked hard over 3 years to look at over 25 pieces of land and consider many others. When we talked to the Reed’s we prayed over the land with them. We prayed at great length and we looked to the Lord repeatedly.
Then we moved forward and we did it by the numbers. We didn’t do everything right – but we certainly tried to. We hired excellent consultants and followed their advice, but here we are today, without a permit to use these 20 acres of earth for ministry and worship. I can only conclude that God is going to reveal his glory in us by doing something bigger and greater than we can possibly imagine.
Still, I must be very honest with you. This is not an easy thing for me to do. What the township board did to us was not fair and was not right. It would not be difficult to allow anger to rule our response… for ourselves and for Mike and Mary Cay Reed. But we are still going to let it go… In the next month it will go on the market. (Let us know if you are interested, or if you know someone who might be interested!)
Forgiveness grants immunity and releases all claims
This message is about a lot more than how to move on as a church when things go wrong. It’s about you forgiving the people who have hurt you.