Pentecost +18 - Year C
As you forgive, so you will be forgiven is a difficult lesson to learn.
We will put it off as long as possible. Case in point: when squandering gifts, yours and others, is finally realized and called we may consider better options. Among these is forgiving debts.
Note that forgiveness is called “shrewd”. This is a healthy way to look at an otherwise fuzzy idea.
Note further the dictionary definitions of “shrewd”:
1 archaic: mischievous
Forgiveness throws a wrench in the best laid plans to gain power over, what fun to watch.
2 obsolete: abusive, shrewish
Heard of heaping coals of kindness upon another?
3 obsolete: ominous, dangerous
Forgiveness is dangerous to dangerous behavior as it calls for a change on both sides of the equation. It is not dependent upon either a forgiver or one who is forgiven. Forgiveness is simply one of the realities of life and we can either work with it and flourish or work against it and be dead-headed.
4 a: severe, hard [a shrewd knock]
b: sharp, piercing [a shrewd wind]
Forgiveness cuts to the bone of what it means to Live, to be one with G*D, with steadfastness. Forgiveness simply is; deal with it.
5 a: marked by clever discerning awareness and hardheaded acumen [shrewd common sense]
b: given to wily and artful ways or dealing [a shrewd operator]
Shrewd forgiveness takes the archaic, obsolete, and current understandings of forgiveness and evaluates its long-term benefit within a communal context.
You can’t honor forgiveness and keep debts to your benefit. Debts must be released lest they fester into entitlement and sin upon sin eventuate.