23 “Therefore the kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who wished to settle accounts with his servants. 24 When he began to settle, one was brought to him who owed him ten thousand talents. 25 And since he could not pay, his master ordered him to be sold, with his wife and children and all that he had, and payment to be made. 26 So the servant fell on his knees, imploring him, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you everything.’ 27 And out of pity for him, the master of that servant released him and forgave him the debt.
28 But when that same servant went out, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii, and seizing him, he began to choke him, saying, ‘Pay what you owe.’ 29 So his fellow servant fell down and pleaded with him, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you.’ 30 He refused and went and put him in prison until he should pay the debt.
31 When his fellow servants saw what had taken place, they were greatly distressed, and they went and reported to their master all that had taken place. 32 Then his master summoned him and said to him, ‘You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt because you pleaded with me. 33 And should not you have had mercy on your fellow servant, as I had mercy on you?’ 34 And in anger his master delivered him to the jailers, until he should pay all his debt. 35 So also my heavenly Father will do to every one of you, if you do not forgive your brother from your heart.” (Matthew 18:23-35. ESV.)
What a sobering parable when it comes to forgiveness! As I read, a person popped into my mind. Someone I have witnessed who does not forgive. Years pass, and still bitterness is in on the lips of this particular individual. I look to my own life and ask, "Do I properly forgive others as I wish to be forgiven?"
The two lines that provoke the most thought in me are:
33 And should not you have had mercy on your fellow servant, as I had mercy on you?
35 So also my heavenly Father will do to every one of you, if you do not forgive your brother from your heart.
FROM YOUR HEART! Three important words! I think of a man standing before His King and hearing Him say, "Shouldn't you have had mercy on your fellow man, as I did on you?". How humbling! How distressing! To be hauled off to jail because of stubborn pride!!! To be punished, imprisoned, bound because of an unwillingness to do for others as one would want done for himself/herself! How terribly sad!
Pride is such an ugly thing! To think of and favor one's self above all others. Lord, please strip me of my pride!