Monday, September 3, 2012

Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he 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. As he began the settlement, a man who owed him ten thousand talents was brought to him. Since he was not able to pay, the master ordered that he and his wife and his children and all that he had be sold to repay the debt. The servant fell on his knees before him. ‘Be patient with me,’ he begged, ‘and I will pay back everything.’ The servant’s master took pity on him, canceled the debt and let him go. But when that servant went out, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii. 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.’ But he refused. Instead, he went off and had the man thrown into prison until he could pay the debt. When the other servants saw what had happened, they were greatly distressed and went and told their master everything that had happened. Then the master called the servant in. ‘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 turned him over to the jailers to be tortured, until he should pay back all he owed. This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother from your heart.” (Matt. 18:21-35)

I am that guy. Not the one the King who was kind and let the debt be forgiven, but the other not the one who owed a little and was getting thrown in prison, the other guy, the one we call the unforgiving servant. That guy? Yeah, I am that guy. Mortified.

I use to look at the Unforgiving Servant (US) and think he was such a loser. I mean seriously? What kind of jerk would act like that? That US there, makes life so hard on the other guy, the one he wouldn't forgive. And the King guy is made out to be so harsh. Like the king did something so wrong? He had a debt owed to him and wanted to be paid. It was his money after all.

As for US, tell me you have never felt that way. Have you ever waited for a payment, a paycheck, a refund check? Something you are counting on? Have you ever gotten annoyed at how long it is taking? Ever been fully aggravated by whoever it is that owes you what ever it is they owe you....and yet...

Have you ever made the phone company wait an extra day? How about the car loan? The electric bill? What if those people were actual people? How long has your buddy waited to be paid for those JETS tickets. And just why should they understand?

"Give me my money!" I yell, grabbing the imaginary collar of whoever it may be, at least in my heart. And I am fully convicted that I am That Guy. I am US.

Heavenly Father, forgive me my debts...and forgive me for all the times I have not forgive the debts owed to me...Mercy on my soul.

We live in a time of "I am owed." Thanking God for showing me my own wickedness. Not to humiliate me, but to humble me. Covered in the blood, knowing that no I am free to ask Him to change my heart, be forgiven, and live to try again. What a Dad we have.

Now I wish He would show me to move my signature line to the bottom of my page!