You’re going to be sinned against.
1. There’s a way to deal with the offense (15-20)
Not to pretend it isn’t a problem, seethe, or paper over the cracks
Two or three others – a reality check on your own judgment
Confrontation, when it happens, must have forgiveness in mind, not revenge. Reconciliation creates a closer bond than you had in the first place.
2. You’ll be tempted to hold a grudge (21-22)
Judaism recognized that repeat offenders might not be repenting at all. “If a man commits a transgression, the first, second, and third time he is forgiven, the fourth time he is not.” So Peter’s offer is magnanimous.
If you’re counting, you really haven’t forgiven. What Peter failed to realize is that he might be the one who needs forgiving.
3. You are to forgive unconditionally (23-34)
The story: in the first, repayment impossible. More money than the entire annual income of many kings.
The ratio of what the king forgave the servant to what the servant refused to forgive: 600,000 to 1; two and a half billions of dollars versus $4,000
4. The consequences for your spiritual health are high (35)
God overrides our failings at every point except for this one. Your heart is either open or closed. If it is closed to forgiveness, it is impossible to receive it.
Every time you accuse somebody else, you accuse yourself. Every time you forgive someone else, you pass on a drop of water of the bucketful that God has given you.
Why forgive without any reference to frequency or quantity? Because we have been forgiven far more than we will ever forgive.