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  • Writer's pictureJamie Holden

April 13 Bible Reading Plan

Let me ask you a question. What is your beverage of choice for breakfast? Many men will answer coffee, while some go with orange juice. Others may go for a smoothie. A few brave souls may drink the Rocky glass of raw eggs. For me, I enjoy a nice cold glass of chocolate milk!

I don’t buy the already-made chocolate milk. It’s not chocolaty enough for me! I enjoy taking a glass of white milk and adding the desired amount of chocolate. Putting the spoon in the glass and mixing it together is cool, watching the chocolate consume the milk. The sweet chocolate taste pollutes the glass of milk, leaving a delicious breakfast beverage.

One thing about chocolate milk….you can make a glass of regular milk into chocolate milk, but you can’t take chocolate milk and turn it back into regular milk. It is impossible! The chocolate has polluted the entire glass, transforming it into something completely different.

Unforgiveness is a lot like chocolate milk. When we allow unforgiveness inside our hearts, it works its way into every fiber and speck of our lives, corrupting whatever comes in contact with it. It pollutes the person who refuses to forgive, transforming them into someone completely different. Left undealt with, it will destroy your life!

God is looking for a generation of men who will stop allowing unforgiveness to consume their lives. Guys, forgiveness must become a natural part of our lives. It cannot be avoided. As you practice forgiveness, it will change your emotions, feelings, thinking, and actions. Not forgiving will stop your journey toward godliness dead in its tracks.

Matthew 18 tells us a great illustration of forgiveness. Jesus tells the story of a man who owes a king money. I am not sure of the exact money conversion, but it would be something like a million dollars to us, an amount no ordinary man could afford. The king demanded the man pay the debt, or else he and his family would be placed in prison, where they would work off the debt through forced labor. The man begs the king for mercy, and the king graciously forgives the debt and gives him his freedom. The man can return home and live as a forgiven, free man!

After receiving his freedom, the man immediately leaves the king and goes and looks for his buddy, who owes him some money, say five bucks. The man is not able to pay him the money. You would think the man would be so thankful for the mercy and forgiveness the king showed him that he would excuse the other man’s $5. However, he does the exact opposite. He grabs the man and has him thrown into prison until he can pay the debt!

The other servants who had witnessed the king forgive the million dollar debt and the man throw his friend in jail over $5 were outraged! They immediately went to the king and told him what had happened. The king had the man immediately brought before him. Let’s pick up the story in verse 32:

Then his master summoned him and said to him, ‘You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt because you pleaded with me. And should not you have had mercy on your fellow servant, as I had mercy on you?’ And in anger his master delivered him to the jailers, until he should pay all his debt. (Matthew 18:32-34, ESV)

The king, unable to believe the ungrateful heart of the man, was outraged and threw the man into prison. The man had been forgiven and given a second chance at life; however, he refused to do the same for his friend. As a result, he lost the mercy that was given to him.

After Jesus tells this story, He makes a statement that drives home the importance of the story. Let’s look at the final thought of this parable.

So also my heavenly Father will do to every one of you, if you do not forgive your brother from your heart. (Matthew 18:35, ESV)

Jesus, in plain words, says if we want God to forgive us of our sins and wipe our slate clean, we need to forgive other people. We don't have a choice about it. As you can see, this is a very serious topic. The stakes are great. Jesus says quite pointedly that our eternal lives depend on our willingness to forgive.

There is no room for unforgiveness in a godly man's heart. If it is not removed, it will quickly pollute and consume our hearts with anger, bitterness, hate, revenge, and a host of other sinful attitudes and behaviors. Like adding chocolate to milk, unforgiveness will choke all the good, godly traits we may try to develop. We must be willing to forgive anyone and everyone. It is not an option.

We need to be men of forgiveness. Forgiving kills sins of bitterness, hate, and anger from polluting our hearts. We must all decide today that we will seek God's forgiveness, seek forgiveness from others, and give our forgiveness to others. This decision will help us to become godly men.

It's what we do!

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