Daily Success
Institute in Basic Life Principles

Command 32 : Forgive Offenders | Day 220

Find the Key to Forgiveness!

I read the parable of the unjust servant in Matthew 18 many times before I understood the vital truth it revealed about forgiveness. A certain king had a servant who owed him 10,000 talents. When the servant could not pay it, the king commanded that he, his wife and children, and all his possessions be sold. The servant fell on his face before the king and pled, "Lord, have patience with me, and I will pay thee all." The king was moved with compassion and forgave the servant his entire debt.

This servant then went out and found a fellow-servant who owed him a much smaller debt of 100 pence. He grabbed the fellow-servant by the throat and demanded, "Pay me that thou owest." His fellow-servant fell down at his feet, begging him to have patience and saying he would repay it all, but the unjust servant refused and had the man thrown into prison. (See Matthew 18:21-35.)

Notice that neither servant pleaded for mercy. They both asked for patience, assuming that they could repay the debt if they had more time. The second servant had a small debt, which easily could have been repaid, but the debt of the first servant was so huge that there was no humanly possible way that he could ever pay it back.

It is only as we recognize the utter impossibility of paying our huge debt to God and plead for His mercy that we can show mercy to others.

There are several important insights in this account that can be applied to forgiving our offenders. First of all, both men were fellow-servants to the king. In the same way, all believers are co-laborers with Christ in God's kingdom.

Secondly, the servant was supposed to be making wise investments for the king as a good steward of the king's assets, not using them for his own personal gain. It is likely that the loan made to the fellow-servant came from funds that were entrusted to him by the king. Since the king forgave the entire amount owed to him by the first servant, this also would have included the money that was loaned to the second servant. Thus, he had no right to demand it.

Finally, by throwing his fellow-servant in prison, he was doing further damage to the interests of the king by incapacitating one of the king's other workers. No wonder the king called him a wicked servant and severely punished him for his lack of forgiveness by turning him over to the tormentors "till he should pay all that was due."

We imprison ourselves through unforgiveness and will suffer at the hands of "tormentors" until we fully forgive our offenders.

Since God says that He will deal with every person who refuses to forgive in the same way that the king dealt with the wicked servant, we can expect that God will allow "tormentors" in our lives if we fail to forgive. (See Matthew 18:35.) Therefore, the key to forgiving others is to focus on our huge debt of sin that God has forgiven and generously extend that same forgiveness to others.

“Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times? Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven” (Matthew 18:21-22).

Daily Success
Like Twitter Pinterest GooglePlus LinkedIn Forward

Online Resources for Command 32 »

Make sure your Daily Success e-mails always go straight to your inbox by adding dailysuccess@iblp.org to your address book.

You are receiving this e-mail because you are enrolled in Daily Success, a ministry of the Institute in Basic Life Principles (IBLP). E-mail addresses are never sold or given out to third parties. You may unsubscribe at any time.

Copyright © 2005–2013, Institute in Basic Life Principles. All Rights Reserved.
The Institute in Basic Life Principles is located at 707 West Ogden Ave., Hinsdale, IL 60521.
Contributing writer: Bill Gothard