“Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times? Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times. “Therefore, the kingdom of heaven is like a king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants.” Matthew 18:21-23
Resentments fester in our hearts and eat away at our souls. They keep us from being fully reliant on God. When we hold onto a resentment we are operating from our ego, not from God’s grace and power. We must forgive in order for us to be reliant on God and to receive His grace and power. Jesus told Peter quite plainly how the laws of heaven work.
Jesus told this parable: A servant owed his master ten thousand bags of gold that he was unable to pay. The master called the servant before him and told him he was going to sell his wife and his children and all he owned in order for the debt to be paid. Upon hearing this, the servant dropped to his knees in anguish and begged his master “Be patient with me. I will pay back everything.” His master took pity on him and forgave the debt.
The servant left and he ran into another servant who owed him a hundred denarii. He immediately grabbed the man and began choking him, demanding his money. The man cried, “Be patient with me. I will pay back everything.” But his plea fell on deaf ears. The servant had the man thrown into jail until the debt could be paid.
The other servants were so distressed by what they saw that they went and told the master. He called the servant before him.
“‘You wicked servant,’ he said, ‘I canceled all that debt of yours because you begged me to. Shouldn’t you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you?’ In anger his master handed him over to the jailers to be tortured, until he should pay back all he owed.” (Matthew 18:32-34)
Jesus warned Peter that this is how God will treat us if we do not forgive from the heart. God extends his forgiveness to us and we are expected to pass that same forgiveness on to others.
I have wronged others enormously, (10,000 bags of gold) yet I can harbor resentments and not forgive lesser transpasses of others (one denarii). I must always pass God’s grace and forgiveness on to others, no matter the debt!
Who can you pass on God’s grace of forgiveness to today? For when you do that, you will be blessed richly and forgiven yourself.