It takes courage to be in relationship. It takes courage to invest in another’s life. It takes courage to share yourself with another person. It takes courage to be a friend. Perhaps the hardest part of relationship, however, is forgiving the other person when he or she has wronged you.

By forgiving the other you are risking being hurt again. You are required to trust the other person and take them at their word when they say, “I’m sorry.” Despite the risk, we are to forgive because Christ first forgave us.

In the Gospel of Matthew (18:23-35), Jesus tells a parable about a servant who, when he begged his master, was forgiven of a large sum of money. Unfortunately, when this forgiven servant went to collect the smaller debts owed to him, he was not as forgiving.

Jesus used this parable to show that we ought to forgive in light of how we ourselves have been forgiven. Christ came to die so that we might be forgiven for the ways we have wronged God (our sins); a considerable debt! Therefore, we are to respond by in turn, by forgiving others who have wronged us. Because we have been forgiven much, we ought to love much.

Lord, thank you for your unimaginable forgiveness. Help me to remember that grace as I interact with others who have wronged me. May I, in turn, show your grace and forgiveness to others. Amen.