I am sharing a message on Sunday as part of our worship series on the Lord’s Prayer. I picked a gospel reading that shows us God getting really upset. The petition in the Lord’s Prayer we consider this Sunday is that our Father in heaven would “forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us.” The gospel reading I chose was Jesus’ parable of the unforgiving servant in Matthew 18:21-35. I encourage you to check it out yourself.
God, represented by a king, is so angry He throws the unforgiving servant in jail to be tortured until he repays a large debt he owes the king. He’s going to be tortured for a quite while! It’s hard earning much when you are locked in jail being tortured!
Why is the king so mad? Yes, the servant owes the king 10,000 bags of gold, an impossible debt to pay. But that’s not the reason the king is upset. The king had forgiven this large debt freely. No, the servant is being punished severely because even after he had been forgiven such a large debt he won’t forgive a fellow servant even a small debt of 100 silver coins.
I owe God more than I could ever repay. That includes all the ways, little and large, intentional and unintentional, I’ve sinned against Him and others over the years. How about you? Have you racked up any debts to our loving Father? Have you ever hurt anyone else in small or large ways over the years? If so, this gospel story shows us the King is more than willing to forgive us our debts. But He wants us to show our gratitude for all He has done for us by forgiving others as He forgives us.
It can be difficult to forgive others. In a YouVersion devotional on the Lord’s Prayer the pastor said something important. “There is a big difference between struggling to forgive and refusing to forgive.” Let’s be willing to forgive others even if we struggle. Forgiveness is a decision, but it is also a process that can last a lifetime.
I don’t know about you, but even if forgiveness isn’t easy, I’d prefer not to get God angry! He’s a loving Father who has loved us in so many ways! But not being willing to forgive others after He’s forgiven us everything may be something that truly ticks Him off.