“But when that servant went out, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred silver coins. He grabbed him and began to choke him. ‘Pay back what you owe me!’ he demanded. “His fellow servant fell to his knees and begged him, ‘Be patient with me, and I will pay it back.’ “But he refused. Instead, he went off and had the man thrown into prison until he could pay the debt.”
Empowered to Forgive
In Matthew 18 Jesus told a story about a servant who owed his master billions of dollars. Remarkably, his master forgave his debt—all of it.
And so, it’s with surprise—and maybe even anger—that we hear Jesus tell us that this servant who had been forgiven so much refused to forgive a fellow servant who owed him a debt. He demanded repayment, then imprisoned him when the man could not pay. How could he be so thankless? He’d been forgiven so much. How could he fail to forgive?
Jesus wants us to see ourselves in this servant. God has forgiven you and me for so much. Over and over again, he has forgiven our sins. Yet we often struggle to forgive those who sin against us.
Jesus was not suggesting that the sins people have committed against us are insignificant. Those sins are serious. Those sins hurt. This is why it is so difficult for us to forgive.
What will empower us to forgive, even those sins which caused such deep hurt? It will be the reminder that God has forgiven us over and over and over and over again. God has never stopped forgiving us. He never will! He has forgiven us for our entire mountain of sin-debt!
And when we’re reminded of the greatness of God’s forgiveness for us, we will be empowered to forgive those who have sinned against us.
Remind me, O Savior, that you have forgiven me richly; lead me to richly forgive others. Amen.