Sept 14

Let it Go

Matthew West is a well known name in the Christian music industry today. One of his songs is titled, “Forgiveness”. The lyrics go like this.

It's the hardest thing to give away

And the last thing on your mind today

It always goes to those that don't deserve

It's the opposite of how you feel

When the pain they caused is just too real

It takes everything you have just to say the word...


It flies in the face of all your pride

It moves away the mad inside

It's always anger's own worst enemy

Even when the jury and the judge

Say you gotta right to hold a grudge

It's the whisper in your ear saying 'Set It Free'


Show me how to love the unlovable

Show me how to reach the unreachable

Help me now to do the impossible


It'll clear the bitterness away

It can even set a prisoner free

There is no end to what it's power can do

So, let it go and be amazed

By what you see through eyes of grace

The prisoner that it really frees is you


Show me how to love the unlovable

Show me how to reach the unreachable

Help me now to do the impossible


I want to finally set it free

So show me how to see what Your mercy sees

Help me now to give what You gave to me

Forgiveness, Forgiveness


Lyrics submitted by Lesley McDaniel.

The king in Jesus’s parable today forgives his servant of 10,000 talents of debt. That servant then goes out and requires another servant to pay back 100 denarii. Passing over this passage without knowing the value of these currencies loses some of the power of the parable. So let’s give the story some perspective.

One Denarii was equal to a day’s wages. Therefore, 100 denarii that the slave demanded from the other slave was worth 100 days of wages. The original slave on the other hand, owed the king 10,000 talents. According to my commentaries, one talent = 6,000 denarii. So how much was the original slave forgiven? The total comes out to about 36 million denarii. But the exact figure isn’t necessary.

The theme of the story is that the king forgave debt that was beyond payable. No wages in a lifetime would pay-back the debt to the king. And yet the king forgave the entire balance. On the other hand, the slave after being forgiven of such great cost, couldn’t forgive his fellow slave a sliver of the same mercy.

Jesus’s entire adult ministry was based on love and forgiveness. It was the forgiveness of sins that held the power to heal in the miracle stories. And the same forgiveness has the power to heal our wounds, known and unknown. We just need to release our white-knuckle grip on anger, bitterness, and resentment and feel a life-changing experience of peace.

If anger is fueling a furnace in your spirit, let it go. When bitterness toward a past confrontation continues to seed angst, let it go. In those moments when fear of the future paralizes us from moving forward, let it go. When we beat ourselves up over the failures of the past, let it go.

Max Lucado is one of my favorite authors and theologians. This week, he wrote the following devotional.

"It is one thing to have a conviction; it's another to convict the person. Paul said in Romans 2:1, 'If you think you can judge others' here is a stern reminder for you, 'God judges those who do wrong things, and we know that his judging is right.' It is our job to hate the sin. But it is God's job to deal with the sinner. God has called us to despise evil, but he has never called us to despise the evildoer.

But oh, how we would like to! Is there any act more delightful than judging others? There's something smug and self-satisfying about slamming down the gavel...'Guilty!' Judging others is a quick and easy way to feel good about ourselves. But that's the problem. God doesn't compare us to them. They are not the standard. God is. And compared to him, Paul argues in Romans 3:12, 'There is no one who does anything good."

Jesus is the king that forgave a debt that we were unable to repay on our own. Now he calls us to go and forgive, up to 77 times. Forgiving and healing takes time. But it won’t happen if we aren’t making an attempt. Jesus is nudging us to release the feelings and people who are stealing joy from our life. Trust him and let it go.