JESUS tells a story in matthew 18 of a slave who owed his master millions of dollars and after he had pleaded with the master, the master forgave totally his debt.
how would you feel if all of a sudden you had no house payment, no car payments, no credit card payments? how would you feel? you would probably feel relief, joy. and hopefully you would feel gracious to others. i’ve just been forgiven all my debts. i should go out and show a little grace to somebody else.
but that’s not what this guy did in the story. matthew 18.28-30 (tniv), but when that servant [who had just been forgiven twelve million dollars] went out, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denari. he grabbed him and began to choke him. “pay back what you owe me,” he demanded. his fellow servant fell to his knees and begged him, “be patient with me and i will pay you back,” [almost the same words he had said to the king.] but he refused. instead he went off and had the man thrown into prison until he could pay the debt.
get this guy! he’s just been forgiven a twelve million dollars debt. he goes out and finds a guy that owes him a hundred denari. that’s seventeen bucks. it says he grabs him, starts making demands and he starts to choke him.
this is kind of comical because actually in roman law you were allowed to choke somebody who owed you money. squeeze it out of him. by law he could do this. and because this guy can’t pay him seventeen bucks he has him thrown into prison.
why in the world was this guy so harsh? because in his heart he didn’t really believe the king had forgiven his debt.
he says, “i know… i heard what the guy said. but i’m going to pay him back. even if it starts with seventeen bucks at a time i’m going to figure out a way to pay him back.”
here’s the point. when we feel unforgiven we tend to be unforgiving. when we feel ungraced we tend to be ungracious to others.
many of you are CHRISTians but you still don’t understand grace. and in your heart you’re thinking, “i’m going to make it up to you, GOD. i know you’ve forgiven all my sins. i know you’ve given me eternal life in heaven. so i’m going to make it up to you. and i’m going to pay you back, GOD.” and you go out and you try to earn your forgiveness and that makes you rigid and unbending.
but HE has forgiven you!!! accept it and believe it!!!
just a thought from the front porch…