When Humility Is Lost To Unforgiveness PART 2
Posted on February 9, 2021 by Catey Stover in Freedom Fighters
“The servant therefore fell down before him, saying, ‘Master, have patience with me, and I will pay you all.” Matthew 18:26 (NKJV)
So, the last time I was with you I ended with two thoughts, “I wonder how many Christians would want God to forgive them in the same way they have forgiven those who have offended them” and “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him?” Within these ponderings I also stumbled across a new adjective, magnanimous. This means to be generous or forgiving, especially towards a rival or a less powerful person. Hmm…so apparently, a person can be “magnanimous” towards someone who appears less powerful than themselves, interesting.
Maybe that’s why Peter thought he could get away with asking Jesus, “Lord, how often should I forgive someone who sins against me? Seven times?” And I don’t mean that Peter thought himself more than Jesus but rather that he wanted Jesus to see him as being generous. So, Jesus, knowing that Peter was a man of extremes, answers him like this, “No, not seven times,” Jesus replied, “but seventy times seven!” (Matthew 18:22) In other words, forgive as God does, without limits. Then we’ll get an illustration of how that looks in the parables of “The Unforgiving Servant.”
“Therefore the kingdom of heaven is like a certain king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants. And when he had begun to settle accounts, one was brought to him who owed him ten thousand talents.” (Matthew 18:23-24)
For me, it doesn’t make much sense to go into the monetary value of a talent, let alone ten thousand of them so let’s just say we got a servant who owes this king a debt that cannot be paid off, by him, at all. But let’s replace a few things, like the king now represents God the Father and the servant is now you. You are now in front of God the Father, in debt, in trespass and sin, having offended the Creator with disobedience, unable to pay back in any way with anything, throwing yourself at His mercies, suddenly hearing, “Your debt is forgiven.” HALLEUJAH!! The you wipe the sweat off your brow because you know that you just dodged a major bullet! Wait for it…
“But when the man left the king, he went to a fellow servant who owed him a few thousand dollars. He grabbed him by the throat and demanded instant payment.” (Matthew 18:28)
UH-OH! I guess this is where being “magnanimous” gets tossed outta da window. Now the offender becomes the offended and what should have been a moment of extended grace has now become a moment where humility has been lost to unforgiveness. So, what d’ya think happened? Well, I guess this where I better insert myself as the unforgiving servant. So here it goes…
When I finally realized that I was forgiven for forty years of behaving terribly towards family, friends and peers, I breathed a sigh of relief but there was still this, “woulda, shoulda, coulda” that I could not shake off. I had those moments where I would say, “It would have not gotten this bad if it wasn’t for this person and what they did to me. When I see them I’m gonna let’em have it.” I’m pretty sure our unforgiving friend in this parable of Jesus went through the same thought process. “There he is! If he woulda just given me what he owed maybe I woulda had a better standing with the king instead of humiliating myself by begging for mercy.”
The offender becomes offended because he traded humiliation for humility and instead of receiving the joy that comes with forgiveness, he chose the false satisfaction that comes with retaliation. And the ugly in it all, is it was full display for all to see. Instead of being magnanimous, our unforgiving friend (and this writer) became judge, jury and executioner.
“So his fellow servant fell down at his feet and begged him, saying, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you all.’ And he would not, but went and threw him into prison till he should pay the debt.” (Matthew 18:29-30)
Needless to say, this isn’t going to end well for my unforgiving friend (I should know, it didn’t end well for me). He could have been a walking testimony that displayed the full grace and mercy of a benevolent king but he fails and remember, there were witnesses who knew the king better and they knew he wasn’t gonna let this go unanswered.
My time is up today but I wonder how many of you have fallen short in this way? Are you a “three strikes, you’re out” forgiver and would you want our heavenly Father to say the same thing to you? If so, think about how far back He should have started calling balls and strikes in your life and see where you are today. Until next time. I ain’t done yet. Amen?
Written by Chris Hughes: Chris is a husband, a father, has an education in Biblical doctrine and is a graduate of The Colony of Mercy. He has been a Freedom Fighter contributor since 2008. You can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org
Think About This: “To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that the prisoner was you.” – Lewis B. Smedes
The Daily Bible Reading: Reflection | You can download our 2021 Daily Bible Reading Plan by clicking here.
This Week’s Verse to Memorize: And of His fullness we have all received, and grace for grace. 17 For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. –John 1:16-17