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How Often Should We Forgive?


Matthew 18: 23 - 35

Jesus Told A Story To Teach Us To Forgive

Matthew 18:23 ~ "Therefore, the kingdom of heaven is like a king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants."

A.) Scene One ~ A servant embezzled money from the king.

Matthew 18:24 ~ "As he began the settlement, a man who owed him ten thousand talents was brought to him."

  • The servant and his family would be sold to pay their debt.

Matthew 18:25 ~ "Since he was not able to pay, the master ordered that he and his wife and his children and all that he had be sold to repay the debt."

  • The servant begged the king for mercy.

Matthew 18:26 ~ "The servant fell on his knees before him. 'Be patient with me,' he begged, 'and I will pay back everything.'"

  • The king had mercy on the servant.

Matthew 18:27 ~ "The servant's master took pity on him, canceled the debt and let him go."

B.) Scene Two ~ the first servant demanded repayment of the debt from another servant.

Matthew 18:28 ~ "But when that servant went out, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii. He grabbed him and began to choke him, 'Pay back what you owe me!' he demanded."

  • The second servant begged the first servant for mercy.

Matthew 18:29 ~ "His fellow servant fell to his knees and begged him, 'Be patient with me, and I will pay you back.'"

  • The first servant had no mercy on the second servant.

Matthew 18:30 ~ "But he refused. Instead, he went off and had the man thrown into prison until he could pay the debt."


C.) Scene Three ~ Others complained about the unjust behavior of the first servant.

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Matthew 18:31 ~ "When the other servants saw what had happened, they were greatly distressed and went and told their master everything that had happened."

  • The king heard about the behavior of the first servant.

Matthew 18:32 - 33 ~ "Then the master called the servant in. 'You wicked servant, he said, 'I canceled all that debt of yours because you begged me to. v.33 Shouldn't you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you?"

  • The king responded to the unjust behavior of the first servant.

Matthew 18:34 ~ "In anger his master turned him over to the jailers to be tortured, until he should pay back all he owed."

  • Jesus explained the meaning of the three scenes.

Matthew 18:35 ~ "This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother from your heart."

Forgiveness should not be treated as an option. Everyone is in need of forgiving others.

Things To Think About:

  • Forgiveness cost God the death of His Son Jesus.
  • Those that are forgiven must also forgive others.

Jesus Warns About The Consequences Of Non~Forgiveness

Matthew 18:33 ~ "Shouldn't you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you?"

A.) He doesn't want us to give Satan a foothold.

2 Corinthians 2:10 - 11 ~ "If you forgive anyone, I also forgive him. And what I have forgiven ~ if there was anything to forgive ~ I have forgiven in the sight of Christ for your sake, v. 11 In order that Satan might not outwit us. For we are not unaware of his schemes."

B.) He doesn't want us to become bitter and tormented.

Matthew 18:34 ~ "In anger his master turned him over to the jailers to be tortured, until he should pay back all he owed."

When Jesus was crucified, He provided forgiveness by His own death on the Cross. Just before breathing His last breath, He said, "It is finished."

Things To Think About:

  • God doesn't ask us to do anything without equipping us to do it.
  • God is already helping us to forgive others. We need to accept His help.

Jesus Admonished Us To Forgive Others From The Heart

Matthew 18:35 ~ "This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother from your heart."

  • From the heart, please make a decision to forgive.
  • Please pray out loud and speak the forgiveness to God.
  • You may need to forgive the same offense over and over again.
  • The ability to forgive comes from Jesus who forgave you.

Colossians 3:13 ~ "Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you."

  • Forgiveness doesn't release someone else from God's justice.
  • Forgiveness doesn't mean that boundaries should be removed from abusive people.

Things To Think About:

  • Will you ask God to help you forgive others?
  • You are in need of forgiving others.
  • Others are in need of your forgiveness.



  • Please make a written list of persons that God wants you to forgive







Please pray from the heart and forgive those people today.

$6,000,000,000.00 is the equivalent of what the man owed the king. One talent is worth around $600,000.00. He begged for mercy from the king and he forgave the debt. What great forgiveness he expressed!!

Forgiveness is not an option in the kingdom of God. We need to forgive! Relationships become distant because we don't want to trust anyone anymore. We all want to have friends, but the last friend you had hurt you so badly. Now, you find it very hard in your heart to trust or forgive anymore. How often should we forgive? ALL THE TIME! Again, and again, and again, and again, and again, and...

When I think of what Jesus did on the cross by dying for my sins, and the forgiveness I've received for my sins.... how can I not forgive others?


© 2011 Carol Kluchesky


Carol Kluchesky (author) from Midwest, USA on April 16, 2014:

Robert thank you for your awesome comment I couldn't agree with you more. I agree it's not easy, but it definitely is something we all need to do. There is so much freedom when we forgive those who have wronged us in life. I know what that freedom is like. There is another hub I wrote in a series of 3 different hubs that talks about having to forgive those who wronged me. If I hadn't of forgiven all of the people involved, I would still be carrying around the heavy load that was dragging me down for years. Forgiveness is such a wonderful thing to possess for it makes life a much lighter and happier experience. Besides, carrying unforgiveness makes the heart heavy and sad, and who wants to live a life like that? Not me! I choose to forgive. Thanks again for stopping by. God bless and have yourself a great day!

Carol Kluchesky (author) from Midwest, USA on April 16, 2014:

Teeb I am sorry to hear about the loss of your son. That is a good perspective to have 'that God gave His son willingly to give me a life that I am undeserving of.' God gave His Son so that all of us can have a life that none of us are deserving of having. Such a marvelous gift He gave to us. I think we all struggle with forgiveness to one degree or another because, like you mentioned, it's part of being human. When I need to forgive others, (it doesn't always happen right away...being human as I am), I remind myself of all that God has forgiven me for and holding unforgiveness does no one any good. It's so freeing to forgive others than to be carrying a huge load on your shoulders. I choose forgiveness. Thank you for your comments they are very much appreciated. God bless you and may His peace be with you.

Robert on April 12, 2014:

I once heard some hip-looking pastor at a multi-site chucrh (*chuckle*) once say that Forgiveness isn't for the forgiven, it's for the forgiver .By forgiving we release whatever measure of control that event, person, etc., has over our lives. We're no longer a slave to that which has happened to us.Plus, there's the added influence of Jesus saying, twice in Matthew 6: v.12 and forgive us our sins, as we have forgiven those who sin against us.v.14-15: “If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins.It's not easy, but its something we need to do.

Teeb on April 11, 2014:

I struggle with this sitemomes. I think that it's a part of being human. That's not an excuse though. I think that sitemomes the bigger the hurt caused by someone, the more difficult it can be to forgive that person. If you really want honesty, I still have days that I try to refuse to share my life with God. I still find myself blaming Him for the loss of my son. I've found that the best way that I've found to deal with my anger towards God, is to realize, and this is NOT easy, that God lost his son too. When I find myself being angry about having my son stolen from me without warning, I try to remember that God gave His son willingly to give me a life that I am undeserving of.

Carol Kluchesky (author) from Midwest, USA on January 23, 2012:

Hi stephhicks68 thank you for your wonderful comment and the votes, they are much appreciated. The verse comes to mind, 'Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.' We all need forgiveness at one time or another. As we would like for others to forgive us when we have wronged them, we too should forgive those who have done the same to us. There's nothing quite like the freedom that comes from forgiving someone. The baggage you carry around with you is lifted off of your shoulders and you aren't weighed down anymore with a heavy load. It can be hard to forgive someone who has hurt you. Perhaps you choose not to forgive in thinking they don't deserve it. When that happens, I'm reminded of the fact that I too need forgiveness now and then. I would rather choose the lightness that comes with forgiveness than the heaviness that comes with unforgiveness.

Have a great day and God bless! :-)

Stephanie Marshall from Bend, Oregon on December 30, 2011:

Lovely hub, and as one who was amazed by the Christian story, "The Shack," I have often contemplated the strength it takes to forgive, yet the lightness of being that results. Rated up and beautiful! Thank you for such a thought-provoking hub. Best, Steph

Carol Kluchesky (author) from Midwest, USA on December 06, 2011:

Hi Dexter Yarbrough! Being the human beings that we all are, I think everyone struggles with forgiveness to some degree in their lifetime. Like you mentioned, some more than others. There are those who even go for a lifetime and never forgive. Personally, I think that's very sad. To spend decades/a lifetime not forgiving. And yes, even the smallest of slights they won't forgive someone for even when they in turn need forgiveness from others themselves. Interesting, isn't it.

No one's perfect except for God and I for one am far from it. I too continue to work on myself in all areas of life to be more of the person God wants me to be. Thank you for the comment of a great hub!

Have a great day and God bless! :-)

Dexter Yarbrough from United States on December 05, 2011:

Hi Field of Flowers! Admittedly, I struggle with forgiveness. But I willingly admit it. What I find troubling is the myriad of so-called Christians that are holding on to decades of hurt and anger - and failure to forgive even over the smallest of slights.

Anyway, great hub. I continue to work on myself!

Carol Kluchesky (author) from Midwest, USA on December 02, 2011:

Hi Dave Mathews thanks for your great comment. I couldn't agree with you more. As we receive forgiveness from God, we too need to forgive others without keeping score of how many times. Forgiveness should be limitless towards others as is God's forgiveness towards us.

Have a great day and God bless! :-)

Dave Mathews from NORTH YORK,ONTARIO,CANADA on December 02, 2011:

Field Of Flowers: When asked: How many times should I forgive my neighbor, 7 times? Jesus replies 70 X 7 teachin that we should never limit forgiveness as Jesus never stops forgiving us our sins daily.

Carol Kluchesky (author) from Midwest, USA on December 02, 2011:

Hi Hyphenbird thank you for stopping by and commenting. Forgiveness is an important thing to possess. Having bitterness,anger, resentment and all of the other things that come along with unforgiveness, is a heavy burden to carry in life. I too believe it's a moment by moment action. I choose to forgive for it gives me freedom from all of the negative components of unforgiveness. I'm glad you enjoy it!

Have a great day and God bless! :-)

Brenda Barnes from America-Broken But Still Beautiful on December 02, 2011:

We must forgive the instant bitterness, anger and resentment enter in. I believe forgiveness is a moment by moment action. Thanks for a great devotional.

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