Debts To Pay

“Therefore the kingdom of heaven is like a certain king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants. And when he had begun to settle accounts, one was brought to him who owed him ten thousand talents. But as he was not able to pay, his master commanded that he be sold, with his wife and children and all that he had, and that payment be made.” (Matthew‬ ‭18:23-25‬ ‭NKJV)
Download MP3

Reflection Questions:

1. How did unforgiveness play a part in the collapse or destruction of your relationship with others?
2.What hurt from the past still brings you pain and how can forgiveness help you move forward?
3. When it comes to relationships what does it mean to have God’s power working in your life?

Rick Warren said, “Forgiveness is really a one time event.” Bakit rarely a one time thing? Because forgiveness is a decision that you have to make multiple times in a day; multiple times to the same person; multiple times for a lot of people. And most of the time, to people who hurt us that are closest to us. 

So Rick Wareen asked, “How often do you have to keep releasing your right to get even?” Gaano nga kadalas? That’s a rhetorical question you can ask yourself. 

And he said, “Until you stop feeling the hurt and you know you’re forgiven that person.” It is okay to cry from time to time when you remember. But if you continue to feel that hurt and you continue to feel wanting a revenge then you have not fully forgiven.

He also said that, “It is not to hurt but the refusal to forgive that destroys marriages.” Who are married here? Minsang ang isang tampuhan, dahil hindi nagpatawad ang isa, nagiging away. Not good!

Also he said, “Nobody ever feels like forgiving. But you do it because it’s the right thing to do, and you do it to get on with your life. These steps are not easy, but with God’s power you can do it.” 

He said, “by God’s power.” So that is supported by a verse.  

Let’s read in Zachariah 4:6, 

So he answered and said to me: “This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel: ‘Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,’ says the Lord of hosts.”

Kasi hindi naman talaga natin kaya on our own.

And also in Philippians 4:13, 

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

Mahirap magpatawad. But being a forgiving person— a merciful person is actually a strength we can draw from Christ.

So let’s begin to read “The Parable of the Unmerciful Servant” where we can read at Matthew 18:23-35. 
Let’s first begin with the prologue in verses 21 to 22. “Then Peter came to Him and said, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.”

“Therefore the kingdom of heaven is like a certain king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants. And when he had begun to settle accounts, one was brought to him who owed him ten thousand talents. But as he was not able to pay, his master commanded that he be sold, with his wife and children and all that he had, and that payment be made.” (Matthew‬ ‭18:23-25‬ ‭NKJV)

“The servant therefore fell down before him, saying, ‘Master, have patience with me, and I will pay you all.’ Then the master of that servant was moved with compassion, released him, and forgave him the debt.” ‭‭(Matthew‬ ‭18:26-27‬ ‭NKJV)

““But that servant went out and found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii; and he laid hands on him and took him by the throat, saying, ‘Pay me what you owe!’ So his fellow servant fell down at his feet and begged him, saying, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you all.’ And he would not, but went and threw him into prison till he should pay the debt.” ‭(Matthew‬ ‭18:28-30‬ ‭NKJV‬‬)

“So when his fellow servants saw what had been done, they were very grieved, and came and told their master all that had been done. Then his master, after he had called him, said to him, ‘You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt because you begged me. Should you not also have had compassion on your fellow servant, just as I had pity on you?’” ‭‭(Matthew‬ ‭18:31-33‬ ‭NKJV‬‬)

“And his master was angry, and delivered him to the torturers until he should pay all that was due to him. So My heavenly Father also will do to you if each of you, from his heart, does not forgive his brother his trespasses.” ‭‭(Matthew‬ ‭18:34-35‬ ‭NKJV‬‬)

Forgiveness is Equal to Kindness

I personally had a lot of reflection as I have been studying this lesson. First one is that I realized, forgiveness is equal to kindness, and kindness is part of the fruit of the spirit so if you want to have that fruit, we have to be forgiving. In Luke 6:36 it says there, “Therefore be merciful, just as your father also is merciful.”

Kailangan we have to be just like our father and how he forgave us when we were called to accept Him. We accepted him, we confessed our sin and we made Him our Lord and Savior. Jesus, He was able to forgive all our sins from the past. He is after our life in the future with Him and not in the past without Him.

And in Ephesians 4:32, “And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.”

Again, sinasabi, we have to be forgiving just the way Christ has forgiven us. And we are called to be kind, tenderhearted and forgiving one another. 
And in 1 John 4:11, it says there, “Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.”

So again, we are called to be as loving as God. So what does it say? Forgiveness is equals to kindness. God is forgiving. And we are called to be just like him. Therefore we have to be forgiving. 

Forgiveness is a Command

So also, I realized that forgiveness is a command. On that parable, we are commanded to forgive just how God forgave us.

Let’s read in John 15:5, 7-8, “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.”

This is what I’m talking about earlier that kindness is part of the fruit of the spirit. And if you want to bare that fruit, we have to continue abiding in the Lord. Minsan mapapasabi ka, “Ang hirap naman mag-forgive. Nasasaktan pa ako.” But forgiveness is a decision. Forgiveness is something that we have received from the father. So why can’t we give it to our neighbors,? To our loved ones? To our family members? To our children? To our spouses? Bakit mahirap? Kasi, we don’t abide in the Lord. We don’t abide in Him. Forgiveness is something that we have to ask from the Lord, “Lord, give me that strength!” It is a strength from the Lord to be forgiving. It is a strength from God to have an open heart to accept somebody’s iniquity especially if they ask for forgiveness. forgiveness is not only given if the person asks for forgiveness. We have to forgive even if they don’t say sorry. Even if they don’t want to accept that they had a fault.

The Consequence of Unforgiveness

Let’s discuss the consequence of unforgiveness. We can read at John 15:6, “If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned.”

Would you like to be cast out? Would you like to wither? And would you like to be thrown in the fire and be burnt? It is saying that a consequence of unforgiveness (which is unforgiveness is a sin) is equals to death.

“And forgive us our debts, As we forgive our debtors.

“For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” (Matthew‬ ‭6:12, 14-15‬ ‭NKJV)

We have to forgive kung sino man yung nagkasala sa atin because we have received forgiveness from our God the Father. And sabi, if we forgive others surely the Heavenly Father will forgive us. He will be merciful to us. Isa sa mga consequences, if we do not forgive, neither will the father will forgive us. Nakakatakot noh? I don’t want to be thrown in the fire. I don’t want to be burned. And we know where is that place is, right?

Spurgeon said, “We, incur greater wrath by refusing to forgive then by all the rest of our indebtedness.“

Actually, sino ba ang nai-imprison of being unforgiving? Yung tao ba na hindi mo pinatawad? O ikaw na hindi nagpatawad?

Also Spurgeon said, “If we forgive in words only, but not from our heart, we remain under the same condemnation.” Forgiveness shouldn’t be only by words. Kapag sinabing, “Okay, sige, okay na tayo!” but you never really restored the relationship, that’s not forgiving from the heart. It’s not forgiveness from the heart. Forgiveness from the heart is being able to step forward, one step at a time, to rebuild that relationship. To restored what is broken— a friendship; a relationship; a marriage.

David Guzik said, “Forgiveness is an evidence of truly being forgiven, and that habitual unforgiveness may show that a person’s heart has never really been touched by the love of Jesus.“ 

This is actually something that I asked myself. My personal testimony is very long. But I’ll just give you just a part of it. I am married. And in a lot of instances, especially when I have not returned to God. Well I was a backslider. During the time that I have forgotten Jesus, when I have forgotten the Lord in my life, I have been seeking a lot of attention from my spouse. Sinisisi ko siya why I am not happy. Why I feel unloved. Why I feel uncontended. And every little thing na gawin niyang mali lumalaki sa akin. It is because I have not really understood what is that forgiveness that Jesus had given me. He’d been so merciful with me. And he has embraced me lovingly kahit na nagkaroon ako ng mga kasalanan before. But when I returned to Jesus, I restored that relationship that I had lost for many years. Doon ko naintindihan ulit that the Lord has already forgiven me, even died on the cross for me. He paid it by His own blood. He took it to Himself to pay for the sins that I have made. So bakit hindi ko kayang ibigay yun? So when I slowly delivered myself from the sin of unforgiveness, my spouse don’t even understand.

Dumating kami sa point that the Lord restored us physically, and wala siyang narinig sa akin but “When are you coming home?” Yun lang ang naitanong ko. I even asked him, “When are you coming home so I can give you your space in the closet?” Ganon lang. I even asked myself. Nagtaka rin ako sa sarili ko. I even shared it with my sisters-in-Christ na bakit napaka-dali ko nalang na sabihin sa kanyang “Okay, kailan ka babalik?” Kahit na patuloy siya doon sa kasalanan na ginagawa nya. And then this study came to me. It is because the Lord Jesus has really touched my heart. And I understood it I have received that forgiveness. Hindi ba sabi nga, “You cannot give anything what you don’t have.” So if you have Jesus’ love, you can give love to others. If you have Jesus’ forgiveness, you can give forgiveness to others. If you have Jesus’ compassion, you can give compassion to others. So na-explain din sa akin ni Lord through this parable what it is that I was able to apply. What it is that I was able to be a channel of His grace to my husband.

What Forgiveness is Not?

It is NOT the Absence of Anger in Sin
So there are two things that “what forgiveness is not”. Number one, it is not the absence of anger at sin. It is not feeling good about what was bad. 
In 1 Peter 2:23 we can read, “who, when He was reviled, did not revile in return; when He suffered, He did not threaten, but committed Himself to Him who judges righteously;”

So, it is not the absence of anger at sin. Sabi, “Hate the sin, not the sinner!” Do not take this as kalimutan natin ang ksalanan. No! We have to continuously pray for that person not to fall again in the enemies’ schemes to continue sinning because that person is actually “kawawa.” The enemy has a foothold. And in some people, the enemy even have a strong hold. Or the enemy even already built a fort in their life. So we are not suppose to be angry to the sinner. We have to be angry with the sin. Because that sin is caused by the enemy and we have to be with the enemy and we all know who that enemy is. 

So we have to commit to him who judges righteously and that is God.

It is NOT the Absence of Serious Consequences for Sin
Next, number two, it is not the absence of serious consequences for sin. Forgiveness is not the absence of serious consequences of sin. Forgiveness doesn’t mean that that person who caused you pain will no longer be disciplined by the Lord.

It says there in Hebrews 12:6,

“For whom the LORD loves He chastens, And scourges every son whom He receives.”

Just imagine it this way. May isang bata. Kumupit ng pera sa bulsa ng tatay nya. Then the father learned about it. But he said sorry. Do you think hindi siya makakatanggap ng disiplina? Of course not! If that father loves him, if the father loves his son, surely he will receive a discipline. Either hindi siya pwedeng lumabas with friends, or ang allowance nya mababawasan, or magkakaroon na siya ng curfew. That’s part of the discipline. 

In the academy, when you are found to have not obeyed particular rules, you will be receiving demerits until finally you will be restricted. And that restrictions maybe not receiving visitors or not being able to go on vacation or not being able to go out for the weekend. Until you work hard and regain those merit points. That’s part of the discipline. Because we need discipline to be better people. 

And discipline from the Lord does not meant to hurt us. Does not meant to give us pain. But it is meant to give us lessons in life.

Unforgiveness doesn’t hurt anyone but you!

Unforgiveness doesn’t hurt anyone but you! Hindi yung person na nanakit sayo ang magsa-suffer kundi ikaw who have that unforgiving heart. It says here that, by not forgiving someone, you end up bitter, unable to move forward, stuck in perpetual and recurring pain, and in distant far from experiencing the true love of Christ Jesus.

Did you know that a lot of people who is having cancer have unforgiveness issues? You’ve heard it right! A doctor once said that when you are unforgiving, when you are filling up yourself with all this pain, drudge, yung lagi mong iniisip yung tao na hindi mo mapatawad,  the cancer cells are using those hormones na inilalabas ng katawan natin because we still have a grudge, as a food kaya sila dumadami. So sino ngayon ang trapped? Sino ngayon ang naka-kulong? It is the person who was not able to forgive. 

A Prayer to Forgive

Before we end our devotion for this evening, I would like to invite you to this simple prayer. You can pray with me. This is by Rick Warren.
He said, you just keep on forgiving until the pain stops. Every time you remember that hurt, you make an intentional choice to say in prayer,
“God, that person really hurt me, and it still hurts. But because I want to be filled with love and not resentment, I am choosing to give up my right to get even and wish bad on that person. I am choosing to bless those who hurt me. God, I pray you’ll bless their life – not because they deserve it. They don’t. I don’t deserve your blessing either, God. But I pray that you would show grace to them like you’ve shown to me. Amen.“


Our first conclusion is that, unforgiveness leads to destruction of relationships. So if we don’t want our relationships to be destroyed or magkaroon ng lamat, We have to be forgiven.

Number two is that forgive others infinity. Paulit-ulit. Walang katapusan. Nakakasawa man, but you always have to ask the Lord, the strength from the Lord. When we feel weak by doing that, we should ask the Lords strength and we have to pray for the Lord‘s wisdom.

Number three, abide in the love of God to bear the fruit of forgiveness. Kasi mahirap talaga mag forgive if you doesn’t know the kind of forgiveness that we have received from God. Kung ito ba ay knowledge lang. Head knowledge is different. So that knowledge has to be wisdom. And you must be able to feel that in your bones. Para kapag dumating yung time na you have decided to forgive someone, alam mo kung saan mo huhugutin. When we received Jesus, we received that spring of living water. And once you have received that it is already within us. And everything that we need that life giving spring of living water, huhugutin nalang natin yan from the inside. it is already there. We just have to dig deep where it is. Saan mo ba itinago yon?

Lastly, forgive from the heart. Forgiveness without the heart is not really walking the talk. And when you forgive tapos wala naman restoration, that’s not forgiving from the heart. You’re just forgiving for compliance. Para masabi lang na quiet na. “Ayaw ko nalang siyang kausapin!” That is still not forgiveness. Because a restored relationship is the result of forgiveness. That you have really given mercy to that person. Now go back to the reflection questions and see where your heart is presently placed in the issue of Forgiveness.

Photo by: Serkan Göktay