“Be you therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful.” (Luke 6:36, KJV).
Is there someone you are trying to forgive or extend mercy to? Forgiving others is not something that comes naturally to anyone. However, God knows our limitations and has given us Scripture to help us. Some time ago, the Holy Spirit led me to Jesus’ Parable of the Unmerciful Servant (Matthew 18:21-35) and taught me truths about forgiveness and mercy.
Jesus spoke about a king who wanted to collect debts from his servants. One servant owed an enormous debt that he could not pay, and the king ordered that he and his family be sold to repay it. The servant fell before the king and pleaded for more time. Moved with compassion, the king canceled the debt; when that servant left, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a much smaller debt. He grabbed his fellow servant by the throat and demanded payment. The fellow servant fell to his knees and begged for more time, but the unmerciful servant refused and threw him in prison until the debt was paid. Now there were other servants who witnessed the injustice, and they went to the king and reported it.
“Then the king called in the man he had forgiven and said, ‘You evil servant! I forgave you that tremendous debt because you pleaded with me. Shouldn’t you have mercy on your fellow servant, just as I had mercy on you?’ Then the angry king sent the man to prison to be tortured until he had paid his entire debt. That’s what my heavenly Father will do to you if you refuse to forgive your brothers and sisters from your heart.” (Matthew 18:32-35, NLT).
In love, God showed me that the unmerciful servant represented me, and the king represented Him. I had a sin debt that I could not pay, and Jesus paid it all. Recognizing my own need for mercy and forgiveness has changed my heart’s attitude so I can extend the same to others. Forgiveness is never easy, but with God’s help it can be done. For me it is ultimately a choice, and if I choose to walk in mercy and forgiveness, I can have His peace and joy.
Father, thank You for Jesus’ parable and its valuable truths. Thank You for the Holy Spirit, who guides us to truth, teaches us, and gives us the power to live the Christian life. In Jesus’ name. Amen.