Love Your Enemies
Jesus told a parable once about a servant who owed the king 10,000 talents. The king forgave the debt because the servant could not pay it. (A low estimate would make this sum a little over $2 billion.) The servant later went and demanded another servant pay him back 100 denarii (about $5,000). The servant who owed the money could not pay it, so the first servant demanded retribution, and had him thrown in prison. When the king learned of it, he was angry, and had the unforgiving servant thrown into prison until he paid off the $2 billion he owed. (Read Matthew 18:21-35 for the original text.)
In one sense, because forgiveness is hard, this parable can be frightening, and perhaps it’s okay that it is. But while on one level I find it intimidating, on another I find it encouraging, because it adds perspective. In the story, the king may have dismissed the $2 billion debt that his servant owed him, but that also meant the king lost $2 billion. Similarly, God has dismissed my offenses, but it cost Jesus’ life. And when I meditate on how much I have personally been forgiven, I find it easier to let go of the offenses others have committed against me. I find it easier because my grievances often seem petty next to what I have been forgiven. That awareness helps me let go of those debts and vendettas.
excerpt from Come&Live!’s blog Love Your Enemies. If you’d like to read the whole blog, click here.