Should you not also have had mercy on your fellow slave, in the same way that I had mercy on you? – Matthew 18:33
This question is located within a parable that Jesus shared about an unforgiving slave. The man had incurred a debt that he could not possibly repay and begged for mercy from the one to whom the debt was owed. In the story, the slave’s enormous debt was forgiven by his merciful master, but he himself refused to forget or forgive the smaller debt of another. The picture and lesson that Jesus intended was very clear. How can we not forgive others when we consider the enormity of all for which God has forgiven us?
It is part of human existence to suffer injustice at the hands of another. Unfortunately, in the aftermath of having been “wronged,” we may also conclude that we have a “right” to be vindicated. Yet, if we hold tightly to our righteous indignation, we will soon discover that the only thing we’re strangling is the joy out of life. Yes, we have all been wronged, but we have also wronged others, presenting two God-given responsibilities. First, we must admit our own failure and then, we must extend mercy.
You see, the greatest cure for an unforgiving spirit is simply the acknowledgement of personal sin and the full awareness of our own undeserved forgiveness.
When you forgive, you in no way change the past, but you sure do change the future. – Bernard Meltzer