Tuesday, November 12, 2013

It Is All About Perspective

  Okay.  Jesus tells a story in Matthew 18:21-35.  I may contemporize it a little bit, but I don't mean any disrespect.  I just think it is important to put it in language that people will understand.  I have included the reference if you would like to take it to the source.  I encourage you to do just that.

     So there is a King, and he is looking to settle all the debt that his servants owe him.  As he is going through the books he finds a guy that owes him like a billon dollars.  It isn't important to make an exact comparision to the amount in the verse, it is just important to know that it is such an enormous  amount that a lowly servant would never be able to pay it back.  He calls this servant before him and he threatens to sell the man and his entire family into slavery in order to satisfy the debt.  The man is beside himself.  He pleads with the King, and he ask that the King be patient and allow the servant a little more time.  The servant pledges to pay back all that he owes.  The King sees the servant and has pity on him.  He goes over and above what the servant is asking, and completely cancelled out the debt.  The servant is now free in clear of the debt that he owes the King.

     So, the servant who has just been freed from an enormous debt leaves the throne room, and he goes out into the street.  He runs into his neighbor, a fellow servant, who owes him a hundred bucks.  He begins to choke his neighbor and demand that he pay him what is owed him.  His fellow servant begs and pleads with him.  He asked for patience and more time to made good on his debt.  This servant that had an enormous debt wiped out on his behalf, refuses to hear the pleas of his neighbor.  He goes and has him thrown into to prison until he can pay back his debt.

     All of this makes it back to the King.  The King calls this unforgiving servant before him.  The King is furious.  He calls the servant wicked.  He says "I cancelled all your debt.  Shouldn't you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you?"  He then sends the man to prison until he is be able to pay back all that he owes the King.

     Real life time.  I was in active rebellion against God.  I had essential took up arms against him.  Since the time of my birth I have tried to place myself in a place that should have only been reserved for God.  I have been in a desperate attempt to cast off my responsibility to my creator.  Even before there was time, God knew all of this.  In his mercy he sent his Son to die as a ransom.  His Son covered my debt.  My debt has been wiped clean.  My debt was so huge that I could never have been able to cover the cost on my own.  There was no good I could have done to have made up for the wrong that I had done to a Holy God.

     Who am I to withhold forgiveness from someone who has wronged me?  As awful as some of the things that others have done to me, there is nothing that even can be compared to the wrong that I have done to God.  If God is willing to cover my debt, then shouldn't I be willing to forgive the wrongs done to me?  If you really think about it the things that we hold grudges are like fighting over a hundred bucks when we have been forgiven a billon dollars by God.  I don't want to ever be that unforgiving servant.

     Sometimes, I am very hurt and angry with what others have done to me.  Sometimes, I want to hold a grudge.  Sometimes, I want to even get even.  It is in those times that God reminds me of this story.  I can't say that I always listen.  Sometimes he may have to tell me many times over a long period of time.  In the end, I have to give up my claim on that other person.  There is just no way for me to continue to hold their wrong against them after I have been forgiven such an enormous debt.

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