Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times? Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven. Therefore is the kingdom of heaven likened unto a certain king, which would take account of his servants. And when he had begun to reckon, one was brought unto him, which owed him ten thousand talents. But forasmuch as he had not to pay, his lord commanded him to be sold, and his wife, and children, and all that he had, and payment to be made. The servant therefore fell down, and worshipped him, saying, Lord, have patience with me, and I will pay thee all. Then the lord of that servant was moved with compassion, and loosed him, and forgave him the debt. But the same servant went out, and found one of his fellowservants, which owed him an hundred pence: and he laid hands on him, and took him by the throat, saying, Pay me that thou owest. And his fellowservant fell down at his feet, and besought him, saying, Have patience with me, and I will pay thee all. And he would not: but went and cast him into prison, till he should pay the debt. So when his fellowservants saw what was done, they were very sorry, and came and told unto their lord all that was done. Then his lord, after that he had called him, said unto him, O thou wicked servant, I forgave thee all that debt, because thou desiredst me: Shouldest not thou also have had compassion on thy fellowservant, even as I had pity on thee? And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due unto him. So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses. Matthew 18:21-35
People who have been hurt, abused, abandoned, betrayed, rejected, and denied by others often think that such people don’t deserve mercy and forgiveness. Even in Christian circles, it isn’t uncommon to find situations like these. Jesus said in Matthew 18:7, “Woe unto the world because of offenses! for it must needs be that offenses come; but woe to that man by whom the offense cometh!” Offenses cannot always be avoided.
However, in the midst of the offenses that arise in our lives, our utmost goal as Christians should be to act Christlike in all situations. The Parable of the Unforgiving Servant is a great reminder of how great our debt to God truly is. Many Christians are hurting and in pain because of offenses, the root of unforgiveness and idolatry.
If you find yourself in this situation, simply remember the parable of the Unforgiving Servant told by Jesus. We all are like the servant who owed his Master such a great debt that he would never be able to pay it back. Seeing his situation, the Master showed him mercy and forgiveness and decided to let him go.
We know the great debt we have accrued through our sins and the sins of our forefathers. Yet He sent His only Begotten Son to pay the price in exchange for our freedom and salvation. Now, when someone wrongs us or does something unforgivable, we may become like the servant in the parable, who showed no mercy to his fellow servant who owed him a small sum. We become like the unforgiving servant when we hold tight to hurt and the pain caused by our offenders. We thought that we are putting them in prison by not forgiving them, without realizing that we are the ones entrapped and imprisoned by the pain of unforgiveness.
Betrayals, abandonment, rejection, and other hurtful things will certainly come, just as Jesus said, and these things may come from people whom we love, trust, and look up to. When it happens, we know that they will never be able to pay for or fix the damage they have caused. Even holding onto unforgiveness won’t solve anything. You only bleed more as you hold onto it.
That is why Jesus said, “So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses” (Matt 18:21-35). We know that it is only by forgiving others that we are able to receive forgiveness from our Heavenly Father, which causes breakthroughs, blessings and outpourings of favor. When we are living in unforgiveness, it is hard to experience a breakthrough, as prayers seem to be unanswered. The Father doesn’t want His children to live in such a way. He wants us to break through in all aspects of our lives.
Are you ready to forgive, let go, and once again break through to a higher level of your life? Open your heart to our Heavenly Father as you come to Him in humility with a repentant heart.