Then Peter came to him and asked, “Lord, how often should I forgive someone who sins against me? Matthew 18:21
In answer to his question, Jesus told a story about a king who forgave a servant. Though the servant in Jesus’ story got things all wrong let’s take a look at what he could have gotten right.
The servant therefore fell down before him, saying, ‘Master, have patience with me, and I will pay you all.’ Then the master of that servant was moved with compassion, released him, and forgave him the debt Matthew 18:26-27
Just as in our Christian lives, this man’s relationship to the king began by and was entirely based on the forgiveness of his king. Everything hinged on the king’s choice to forgive and accept. Sadly this servant tried right away to make things right by his own efforts Notice he says, “I will pay all.” How many of us determine that we will somehow make it up to God, when in fact we could never ever even in millions of years ever pay God back for all He has done for us!
Our forgiveness is complete! The Bible tells us that the king “released him and forgave him the debt” His forgiveness was not based upon his ability to repay. Forgiveness wasn’t a business decision with terms of repayment. The debt was not only released but the king also took upon himself the responsibility to pay these debts. That is what Jesus has done. When we really understand His mercy then our hearts will change both towards God and others. When His compassion flows into us we need to allow it to flow out to those who owe us any debt!