The way Jesus told the story it all seems so obvious. This one guy owes the King a billion dollars. But the guy is broke so he begs the King for help, and the King does the most amazing thing – He doesn’t just restructure the guy’s debt, the King actually forgives the entire debt. A billion dollars! When this forgiven fellow goes out to collect the ten bucks his friend borrowed at Starbucks, the friend begs for mercy, but the original forgiven fellow responds harshly and throws his friend into prison. When the King finds out, he is quite upset with the forgiven fellow and He says, “Should you not also have had compassion on your fellow servant, just as I had pity on you?’” (Mat 18:23)
The obvious lesson is that I am the forgiven fellow who ought to be forgiving others. But I have to tell you that over the years I’ve found that it isn’t all that easy, is it? I don’t know about you, but I have a boatload of excuses as to why I ought to send my fellow debtor to prison. Here are some of my better excuses: “After all, isn’t it good to teach others the responsibility of paying their debts?” Or, “And this other person is quite a jerk as well. I only forgive people who deserve forgiveness.” Or, “You don’t know how bad they hurt me!”
Why is it so hard to do what’s supposed to be so obvious? Perhaps I need to stop making excuses and just do what is right. Forgiveness is right.