Biblical Character Development — Forgiveness, Part 3 (The Man In the Mirror #38)

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In keeping with our theme of dealing with the man (or woman) in the mirror, we are going to continue discussing the building of important biblical character traits in your life. Today, we will continue looking at the quality of forgiveness from “The Power for True Success” by the Institute in Basic Life Principles.

— Concepts to Understand Forgiveness

— Pleading for mercy vs. pleading for more time

The servant who refused to forgive a small debt after being released from a huge debt was not able to give mercy, because he did not ask for it. He asked instead for an extension of time: “Have patience with me, and I will pay thee all.” The wise master put him in prison with tormentors to cause him to realize that he could never pay it all back. Only then would he plead for mercy and be able to give it to others.

— Clearing the conscience vs. responding with harshness

When David heard the case of the man who stole his neighbor’s pet sheep, he became angry and demanded an extreme punishment. The law required only four sheep for the stolen one. However, David was unable to give justice or mercy, because he was guilty of the same offense. When we harshly judge others, we condemn ourselves, because we do the same things.