I remember watching my kids play and learn when they were younger. Watching them interact with their environment brought endless entertainment. One of my favorite things to watch was when one of them would have a toy in each hand and want a third one. Instead of putting one down, they would often try to grab the third item not realizing that they couldn’t because their hands were full. They had to let go of what they were holding to grab something new.
The Apostle Matthew writes in chapter eighteen, “Then Peter came up and said to him, ‘Lord, how often will my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?’ Jesus said to him, ‘I do not say to you seven times, but seventy-seven times.’” (Matthew 18:21-22 ESV) What follows is the parable of the unforgiving servant. Essentially there is a king looking to settle his accounts and he discovers that one of his servants owes him 10,000 talents (1 talent = 20 years’ wages). The servant pleads with the king to not go to prison and the king forgives his debt. That same servant runs into a peer who owes him wages equal to 100 days, he chokes him and throws him in debtors’ prison. When the king learns of this, he scolds the servant and reinstates his debt placing him in prison.
We all have our own debts, our sins, and deserve judgement from God. However, we have also been given the great gift of forgiveness from God. Knowing all the things we have done and how much we have been forgiven shouldn’t we be able to forgive others as well. Too often we are the wicked servant in this cautionary parable. We hold too tightly to the things we need to let go of and forgive.
So many of us are walking through life with our hands full, burdened by unforgiveness. We know how much we have been forgiven, and that God offered up His Son, Jesus, as our payment. God wants us to be forgiving. In knowing this we need to be able to put down the bitterness and hurt we are holding and pick up the opportunity to forgive others. It’s not easy. When the wicked servant was forgiven such a sum he could never repay, he should have been able to share that blessing with his friend. When you consider all that God has forgiven I hope you are able to share a small glimpse of that to the people that have done you wrong.