josephsapp (josephsapp) wrote in saltshakers,


Hey all. My name is Joseph. I'm 29 and the most important lesson God has taught me is to forgive. It took 10 long years to learn. This is that story.

Matthew 18:21Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, "Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?"
22Jesus answered, "I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.[f]

23"Therefore, the kingdom of heaven is like a king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants. 24As he began the settlement, a man who owed him ten thousand talents[g] was brought to him. 25Since 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.' 27The 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.[h] 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. 31When 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. 33Shouldn't you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you?' 34In anger his master turned him over to the jailers to be tortured, 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."

I was raised as a PK, army-brat. My dad was a chaplain in the army. I was saved when I was 12, won Christian-character awards in HS at a Christian school, and by 18 I was leading a youth cell group.

That year was a turning point in my walk with God. I saw some hypocrisy in my dad's life and in other leaders I respected. I stumbled over it and made a deliberate choice to not forgive my dad. I went from possibly taking my peace with God for granted to complete turmoil over night. I began to have paranoid suspicions at work and walked out.

Eventually I got myself together. I was in turmoil but I got on with my life.

The paranoia got worse. I started thinking people were trying to sabatage my car. I also started having some really bad thoughts, terrible thoughts. What really scared me about them was that I liked them. God showed me just what he had saved me from. I was afraid I might carry some of them out.

I attempted suicide. I mean, "The needs of the many outway the needs of the few," right? I attempted a total of 3 times. I guess God had other plans for me, I'm still here. The last attempt I stopped half way and went to the Church I had attended when I was a kid. The place I had won the Christian character award. I stopped Thursday night, I was going to stay till the Sunday service. I was sure that if I left I wouldn't come back. All I wanted was for God to show me that He is real. I think I really still believed in Him. I think I wanted a sign more to tell me that it was possible to come back.

They called the police. All I wanted was a real God and they called the police. Not much of a sign that God is real...

Eventually I did forgive my dad. It wasn't until that moment that I got my sign that God is real and it happened through my dad. He simply gave me the book "Evidence that Demands a Verdict." It was enough for me.

In a nutshell that's my story. I can go into more detail on any points if anyone wants but this is kinda long. God has been so good to me since I repented of my unforgiveness.

In Christ.
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