The Parable of the Unforgiving Servant
21 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?” 22 Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you seven times, but seventy-seven times. 23 “Therefore the kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who wished to settle accounts with his servants. 24 When he began to settle, one was brought to him who owed him ten thousand talents. 25 And since he could not pay, his master ordered him to be sold, with his wife and children and all that he had, and payment to be made. 26 So the servant fell on his knees, imploring him, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you everything.’ 27 And out of pity for him, the master of that servant released him and forgave him the debt. 28 But when that same servant went out, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii, and seizing him, he began to choke him, saying, ‘Pay what you owe.’ 29 So his fellow servant fell down and pleaded with him, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you.’ 30 He refused and went and put him in prison until he should pay the debt. 31 When his fellow servants saw what had taken place, they were greatly distressed, and they went and reported to their master all that had taken place. 32 Then his master summoned him and said to him, ‘You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt because you pleaded with me. 33 And should not you have had mercy on your fellow servant, as I had mercy on you?’ 34 And in anger his master delivered him to the jailers, until he should pay all his debt. 35 So also my heavenly Father will do to every one of you, if you do not forgive your brother from your heart.”Matthew 18:21-35
Forgiveness can be one of the most difficult things that we do. It is easy for us to hold on to what another has done to us. It is also easy to forget what we have done to others. Often we feel quite justified in our unforgiveness and have great expectation that we should be forgiven, even as we walk in unforgiveness, toward others.
Peter was thinking seven times was a tall order and perhaps possible. Yet Jesus says, “Seventy times 7” is a more reasonable amount of times we must forgive. See, Jesus asks us to live a life of forgiveness, one that daily meets trouble, hurt, and offense with grace, mercy and forgiveness over and over again. Why? Because no matter what another has done to us. God has, for sure, forgiven us of great acts of sin and offense, therefore, He says, “Forgive, as I have forgiven you.”
Father, forgive me as I forgive those who have hurt me. I let go of my desire to hold on to my anger and pain. Help me understand that to refuse to forgive is like drinking poison and thinking it will hurt the other person. Lord help me to release this intense feeling of being justified in my anger and bitterness. I give it to You. You have the right to vengeance. Not me. I let go of the outcome and expectations I’ve had. I want to choose to forgive. In Jesus name. Amen.
All is grace,