"If you turn your back on Me and do not listen to My Words, what can you expect your life to be? If you do not act as Jesus would act to others, how do you think your relationships will fare? When you choose to live like the world, how can I bless you? I have shown you how to live. I have given you a pattern of life to follow. His Name is Jesus.
"Living any other way is choosing to live as the world lives. I have separated you from the world. You have been told to live in the midst of others, so they can see Jesus. You are to forgive them as I have forgiven you. You are showing them a religious, powerless person who has little resemblance to who He is. It is time for you to change. Repent now! Begin to walk as He does."
Matthew 18:21-35 NIV
21) Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, "Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?"
22) Jesus answered, "I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.
23) "Therefore, the kingdom of heaven is like a king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants.
24) As he began the settlement, a man who owed him ten thousand talents was brought to him.
25) Since he was not able to pay, the master ordered that he and his wife and his children and all that he had be sold to repay the debt.
26) "The servant fell on his knees before him. 'Be patient with me,' he begged, 'and I will pay back everything.'
27) The servant's master took pity on him, canceled the debt and let him go.
28) "But when that servant went out, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii. He grabbed him and began to choke him. 'Pay back what you owe me!' he demanded.
29) "His fellow servant fell to his knees and begged him, 'Be patient with me, and I will pay you back.'
30) "But he refused. Instead, he went off and had the man thrown into prison until he could pay the debt.
31) When the other servants saw what had happened, they were greatly distressed and went and told their master everything that had happened.
32) "Then the master called the servant in. 'You wicked servant,' he said, 'I canceled all that debt of yours because you begged me to.
33) Shouldn't you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you?'
34) In anger his master turned him over to the jailers until he should pay back all he owed.
35) "This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother from your heart."
So many of us ask our Lord to give us mercy, but we won't give mercy to others. We are ready to hold up the sins of others to scrutiny, yet we ask Him to cover our own. People who are spiritually blind can only see the sins of another. Even if they get to a point where they can see their own sin, they are more than willing to walk in little or no forgiveness.
God is calling His people to treat others in the same way that Jesus treated those with whom He came in contact. Most of all, He loved them. In the end, He gave up His life for them. We may not be able to physically go to the cross; but we can lay down our own imagined right to judge others, which is actually picking up our own cross and following Jesus.
Teach me to not worry about the slivers, Lord,