What do you crave most when betrayed, offended, or slighted? No seriously, what did you want most when you poured out your life to another and were underappreciated, whether openly or silently?
What did you want?
Do you know what I wanted…it was not revenge. I wanted to be vindicated. I desperately wanted someone to acknowledge what I had given and what they had ignored. I wanted FROM people more than I wanted to GIVE to people. I wanted something more than I wanted to please and treasure Jesus. I became a slave to an idol (appreciation and acknowledgment)…and I was willing to “choke” others to get it!
Jesus knew that we would fight idols more subtle than statues. Thus He taught parables like the one about the Unforgiving Servant.
Matthew records the parable in Chapter 18, verses 21-35. Peter sets the context by asking how many times he must forgive an offender…say one who grossly underestimates your service to them. Peter surely thought himself righteousness when he offered up “seven” times a day he would be willing to forgive. Jesus corrected him and then taught about a merciful master and selfish servant.
The servant owed a debt he could never pay (10,000 talents is far more money than one would ever earn). The servant pleaded for mercy and the master granted what was not required…the master cancelled the debt out of his own grace.
Later that same servant went out and found another servant who owed him a small debt (100 denari; about one hundred day’s wages). When the second servant could not pay, the first sought to CHOKE him to obtain the debt.
How many people have we “choked” to get some paltry pleasure like appreciation, recognition, vindication, or restitution? This response fetched forth the wrath of God.
Jesus then promises that God will hand us over to “TORTURERS” (“jailors” is not strong enough) if we act similarly to people in our lives.
Read that again! God will torture your soul if you would shame the forgiveness of God to shake down a fellow sinner. The desire to GET from another sinner—to get an apology, to get appreciation, to get a confession, to get an acknowledgement of the pain caused—is a 10,000 talent debt before God. NEVER under estimate the misery a guilty conscious can inflict.
If God has forgiven you of the impossible debt you owe for having dishonored Him, PLEASE do not settle for the hollow victory of “choking” debts out of fellow sinners. Instead seek to know the infinite pleasure of pleasing God, making His grace known, and marveling at the fact that Jesus would be willing to die for your 10,000 talent debt against Him.
The Watershed Want is this: do you want to get “out of” your debtors or make much of your Forgiver?
10,000 Blessings in The Beloved,