Matthew 18: 27 – 30 (NIV) The 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 silver coins. 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 it back.’ 30 “But he refused. Instead, he went off and had the man thrown into prison until he could pay the debt.
Jesus tells this parable about a king who wanted to settle his debts. A servant who owed him ten million dollars simply could not pay him back. He begged the king and the king forgave his debt. That alone is an incredible act of mercy. But the parable doesn’t end there. The servant who was forgiven walked away and ran into a man who owed him one hundred dollars. He demanded to be repaid, but that man didn’t have it either. He begged for mercy, just as the servant had done, but the servant had him thrown into prison until his 100-dollar debt was paid. The king was furious when he heard about it and had the servant thrown into prison for the rest of his life.
Jesus said this is how God will treat us if we don’t forgive each other. We simply do not have the right to hold grudges. We don’t have the right to withhold forgiveness because God has forgiven us of such a tremendous debt that we could never pay.
The servant was so full of pride, he had forgotten about his debt that was forgiven. Forgiveness is not to be taken lightly. It may be the most difficult thing we ever face, but I want to help with a few words of encouragement to help us forgive those who have hurt us.
When you forgive someone, you are not saying that it was okay what he did, you are saying that you do not have room for hatred in your heart because your heart is full of love instead. You may or may not even speak again to the person who hurt you, but you are not going to hold a grudge because you can’t. You don’t have room for it in your heart.
When we have been forgiven and have the Holy Spirit living in our hearts, we simply cannot continue to hate someone. It may take a while, but with God’s help we can do it. What is even more like Christ is when we reconcile and become friends again. Don’t live your life with hatred in your heart, fill your heart with love and find the power to forgive each other.