You are $12 million in debt and the bank has threatened to confiscate all your possessions. After a formal hearing, you testify in court of your inability to pay the debt and reluctantly surrender all your assets to the lender. After kissing your spouse and children goodbye, you mentally brace yourself for the next 30 years you will spend in prison. The chains from your handcuffs ring noisily as you walk toward the door dejected and empty-handed.

But before the door closes behind you, you hear the lender’s voice. “Wait! Wait! I have reconsidered! The debt has been cancelled.”

The handcuffs are removed and you are set free. With joy, you embrace your family and return home. But on the way back, you pass the house of a neighbor who owes you $1. You stop by his house and demand that he repay you or else suffer imprisonment.

The neighbor pleads for more time, but you show no mercy and cast him in prison.

How do you think your lender would feel once he found out about the way you treated your debtor? He would be incensed. That’s the same way God feels when we refuse to forgive others.

Do you realize how much God has forgiven you? When Jesus died on the cross, His blood covered every sinful thought which has ever crossed your mind, every false or unkind word which has ever left your mouth, and every wrong deed you have ever committed. You have been forgiven much.

Our debt to God is greater than any sum of money could repay. The offenses of others are petty in comparison. Unless we forgive, we will become prisoners to the people who have offended us. Choose to forgive today, and release the prisoner in the mirror.

To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover the prisoner was you. — Unknown Author

Devotional by Pastor Jim Scudder, Jr.