Then his lord called the first slave and said to him, ‘Evil slave! I forgave you all that debt because you begged me! Should you not have shown mercy to your fellow slave, just as I showed it to you?’ — Matt 18:32-33 NET
Though the servant had been forgiven all his vast debt, he had not been willing to forgive a fellow servant a mere trifle of debt.
No Christian precept is urged more repeatedly and more earnestly than this. In the form of prayer which our Lord taught his disciples, he linked together divine and human forgiveness: “Forgive us our debts–as we forgive our debtors.” Then he added a clear and unmistakable word, emphasizing the lesson: “For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you; but if you forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.”
Paul enjoins, “Be kind one to another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake has forgiven you.” This is but one of many repetitions of the solemn lesson. If we are not ready to forgive those who do us little injuries–it is proof that we ourselves are not forgiven of God. If there be not in the heart the spirit of forgiveness, evidently it has not yet experienced the mercy of God.
It was said of one: “His heart was as great as the world–but there was no room in it to hold the memory of a wrong.”
Daily Comfort - March 26
Public domain content taken from Devotional Writings by J.R. Miller.