Forgive

My heavenly Father will also do the same to you, if we you don’t forgive others from our heart.”

Matthew 18:35

When Jesus said, “My heavenly Father will also do the same to you,” He was referring back

“And his lord, moved with anger, handed him over to
the torturers until he should repay all that was owed him.”

This is no fictitious tale

Jesus says God personally will allow those who refuse to forgive others to be tortured.

What in the world does that mean?

The Greek term from which torturers is translated is a verb meaning “to torment”—
a frightening thought.

When I first saw the thing begin to take shape in my mind, I resisted it. I thought,

“No, that’s too harsh!” But the further I probed, the clearer it became.

The same term is used to describe a person suffering “terrible anguish” (8:6 NET).

And it is used to describe the misery of a man being “in agony” in Hades as he pleads for relief

Luke 16:23–24

When we read of a man named Lot, who was surrounded and oppressed by the conduct
of unprincipled men, we read “his righteous soul [was] tormented day after day”

2 Peter 2:8

Again the same term is used. Pain, agony, and torment are all a part of this torturous experience.

But here in Matthew 18:34–35, Jesus refers to tormentors—a noun, not a verb.

He is saying the one who refuses to forgive, those who harbors grudges,
those who nurse bitter feelings toward another, will be turned over to torturous thoughts,
feelings of misery, and agonizing unrest within.

And who hasn’t endured such feelings?

It is one of the horrible consequences of not forgiving those who offend us.

It makes no difference who it is—one of your parents or in-laws, your pastor or former pastor,
a close friend who turned against you, some teacher who was unfair,
or a business partner who ripped you off . . .
even your former partner in marriage.

I meet many divorcees who have been “handed over to the torturers” for this very reason.

Believe me; it is not worth the misery.

We are to forgive as we have been forgiven!

Release the poison of all that bitterness . . .

let it gush out before God, and declare the sincere desire to be free.

Adapted from Charles R. Swindoll

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