Growing in Faith & Love


Forgive or Forget It!

 There I was seated in row 17, flying from Miami to Oklahoma. I began to daydream, thinking about a friend of mine who had once treated me (what I thought was) unfairly in a financial dealing we had had. As I turned the whole incident over in my mind, I remembered how I had originally consoled my bruised feelings by thinking to myself, “Well, that’s okay, it’s Yahweh’s money anyway – Yahweh will deal with him.”

However, flying on that jet through the night, I started to get an uneasy feeling inside, almost like vengeance. All of a sudden, it was not enough to put the whole thing in Yahweh’s hands. I found myself thinking, “Sure hope the Mashiach [Messiah] brings that whole thing up when so-and-so stands before Him on the Day of Judgment.”

Then, immediately, the Mashiach [Messiah] broke into my thoughts and said to me, “I’ll be glad to bring it up — as long as you don’t mind Me bringing up all the stupid things you’ve done!” I burst out laughing, right there in row 17. All at once, I saw the sad hilarity of it all. I had never really forgiven him at all! Even with all my spiritualizing about the Judgment Seat, what I was really saying in my heart was, “He’ll get his!” With one sentence, the Ruach Hakodesh [Holy Spirit] showed me gross unforgiveness in my heart – not only toward this brother, but also toward many others that had hurt or offended me.

In an instant, I completely understood Yahshua’s words, But if you do not forgive others their trespasses [their reckless and willful sins, leaving them, letting them go, and giving up resentment], neither will your Father forgive you your trespasses. Mattityahu (Matthew) 6:15.


In the 18th chapter of Matthew (vs. 23-35), there’s an incredible tale about this person who owed the king a whole lot of money. “Andthere was brought to the king, one who owed him 10,000 talents” (worth more than ten million dollars today). “But since that slave did not have the means to repay, the king commanded him to be sold, along with his wife and children, with all that he had, and repayment to be made. The slave, therefore, falling down, prostrated himself before the king saying, ‘Have patience with me, and I will repay you everything.’ And the [master] of the slave felt compassion and released him and forgave him the debt.”

I think the most beautiful part of this story is the fact that the king forgave him the debt… over ten million dollars worth! The main reason he canceled it was that although the slave promised to eventually repay it, it was obviously an impossible amount of debt to ever work off in one lifetime. Therefore, in his compassion, the king released him from it forever… or did he? Let’s read on…

It says immediately in the next verse (vs. 28) “But that slave went out and found one of his fellow slaves who owed him a hundred denari” (a denarius was a day’s wage–worth about 18 cents) [maybe worth $100 today?], “and began to choke him, saying, ‘Pay back what you owe!’ So his fellow slave fell down and began begging him, saying, ‘Have patience with me and I will repay

you.’ He was unwilling, however, (to forgive him) but threw him into prison until he should repay what was owed.”

Can you imagine the nerve? You have just been forgiven ten million dollars, and instead of going out and celebrating, you go and find some poor Joe who owes you 18 bucks [$100?]! He’s probably heard about your good fortune through the grapevine and thinks you are gonna invite him to the party, when all of a sudden you start strangling the daylights out of him. In addition, when he asks you to be patient and give him a few days to repay you, you refuse and throw him in jail. It might not sound like something you would do, but I bet you have done it before. Remember Matthew 18:28.

You see, if Yahshua has forgiven your sins, you have had an incredible debt erased. Any bitterness or unforgiveness in your heart, after the total amnesty you have received, makes you as bad as the unmerciful slave. His unforgiveness was not only stupid; it also blew the whole deal with the king!

For…”when his fellow slaves saw what had happened, they were deeply grieved and came and reported it to the king. Then, summoning the slave, the king said, You wicked slave! I forgave you all that debt because you begged me. Should you not also have had mercy on your fellow slave, even as I had mercy on you?”

“And in anger his master turned him over to the jailers for punishment until he paid back every thing he owed.” Yahshua adds the stinger… “This is how my heavenly Father will treat you, unless you each forgive your brother from your hearts.” Matthew 18:34.

Yahshua certainly could not have made Himself any clearer about how upset our Father in heaven gets when, after forgiving us for an eternal debt of sin, we hold some little five-and-dime grudge against someone else “for whom the Mashiach [Messiah] died.”

I think it is also important to note that the debt the king had originally called off was now on again–and in full! … “Whoever has ears, let him hear.”


Bitterness is a deadly thing — a real cancer. In Hebrews 12:15, it says, Exercise foresight and be on the watch to look [after one another], to see that no one falls back from and fails to secure Yahweh’s grace (His unmerited favor and spiritual blessing), in order that no root of resentment (rancor, bitterness, or hatred) shoots forth and causes trouble and bitter torment, and the many become contaminated and defiled by it.

According to this Scripture, bitterness cannot only hurt you, but it can spread like gangrene to others! When you trace the life histories of men like Adolph Hitler, for example, you find that the great evils they engaged in later in life had their roots in deep-seated hurt from early in their childhood.

The mass-murders of the Charles Manson family stemmed from Manson’s bitterness toward a record producer who did not like music. Outraged, Manson sent his “family” to the producer’s house (not knowing that he had moved) and told them to kill anyone they found there. The appalling result was that all of the victims ended up to be people who Manson had never ever met, showing that when bitterness runs unchecked in our hearts it can spill over into other people’s lives, and “by it, many be defiled.” …

Because when they knew and recognized Him as Yahweh, they did not honor and glorify Him as Yahweh or give Him thanks. But instead they became futile and godless [unrighteous] in their thinking [with vain imaginings, foolish reasoning, and stupid speculations] and their senseless minds were darkened. Romans 1:21


At any rate, all this goes to warn us that if we have anything in our hearts against anyone, we should go to that person quickly and get the whole matter totally cleared up. It might be our parents, or an employer, teacher, or even a husband or wife. However, in the light of this parable, we can see that however much anyone has hurt us, it does not even compare to the free gift – Yahweh’s pardon for our sins. We must not put that forgiveness in danger of being made void by our refusal to “go and do likewise.” For the Word of Yahweh says, “If possible… be at peace with all men… for these things are from Yahweh, who reconciled us to Himself through Yahshua the Mashiach [Messiah], and gave us the ministry of reconciliation.” Romans 12:18; 2 Corinthians 5:18.

By: Rabbi Dr. Joseph J. Miraglia Th. D Ph.D.