Thanks to s886.photobucket.com for our graphic today.
Happy Saturday! I know I don’t usually post on Saturday, but I’m trying new things this new year, so here’s another experiment!
Our verse from Matthew 18 is actually a warning… the entire verse says, “”This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother from your heart.” It comes at the end of the unmerciful servant parable; in it, a servant who owed his master ten thousand talents had his debt forgiven. That same servant then proceeded to find a fellow servant who owed him one hundred denarii and demanded payment. The “servant who owed” begged the “servant who demanded” for time–the demander said no way and threw the one who owed into prison. Well, you know how people talk; the other servants told the master what had happened, and the master had the original “servant who owed” put in prison until he could pay his debt. Then our verse came in.
Let’s get some perspective here. I wondered how all these ancient monies lined up with money of today. Here’s what I found–now be patient and read the whole excerpt, it’s actually quite interesting: “First of all, a talent is equal to 6000 days wages, and a day’s wage was 1 denarii, that is, one silver coin. So the amount owed by the first servant is 60,000,000 days wages. In present day wages in Israel that is equal to more than seven and a half Billion dollars ($7,667,400,000). Or, the equivalent of 191,000 years of pay. This is more than could be earned in 6000 life times. On the other hand, the second servant owed 100 denarii, that is 100 silver coins, or 100 days wages. In present wages in Israel this would be equivalent to about $13,000. Not at all a small amount of money, but certainly one that pales in comparison to the seven and a half Billion dollars the first servant owed. It is 17 Billionths of a percentage of what the first servant owed. Far far less than even the tiniest fraction of the first debt” (thank you sonspots.org for this information). Wow, what an eye-opener!
In light of this new way of looking at this parable, we’ve got some decisions to make. The “master” in this story is God, and the extent of His forgiveness is unimaginable. He wipes it all away, even when our “debt” seems unbelievable, unfathomable, unforgivable. If we want to not only be Christ-like in the present, but to also receive His forgiveness forever, we’ve got to let things go. We have to forgive the wrongs that have been done to us. I’m not saying we should forget them– valuable lessons can be learned from the hurts we’ve felt. But friend, we have to give those hurts to God and allow His forgiveness to flood through us, out of us, and into the lives of others. WE HAVE TO! I live daily in the forgiveness that has come into my life through my relationship with Christ. I do not want to go back to living a life without the freedom of God’s forgiveness. I can guess that you don’t want to do that either.
I don’t know what’s happening in your life now, what’s happened in your life previously, or what will happen in your life tomorrow. All I do know is power that comes from letting go of the things that have hurt–the back-stabbing, the verbal assaults, the emotional roller coasters, the physical torment. I know it’s hard, but our God is greater. He will meet you, take away the pain, and replace it with peace. It may not be a quick process, but the process will leave you in a better place if you stick with it.
Check out this song from Matthew West–Forgiveness. May you be moved to “let it go and be amazed of what you see through the eyes of grace.” Because my friend, “the prisoner that it really frees is you.” Give what has been given to you–forgiveness.
And…just in case you need to “forgive” yourself for not sticking to that “eating healthier” New Year’s Resolution, here’s a quick solution to help you get back on track. This Low Carb Strawberry Cheesecake Smoothie from The Low Carb Diet website is just the thing–packed with protein from cottage cheese and milk, and a bit sweet (and don’t worry–you can use regular milk in the recipe if that’s what’s in your fridge!). Take a sip, forgive those slices of pizza with everything on it (yes, that’s me–don’t judge!), and enjoy!