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Matthew 18:23-35, The Parable of the Unforgiving Servant

This parable is a perfect example of people believing they are more deserving than others – of people who see the sins of others without recognizing the sin within themselves.

Someone very close to me has a very interesting, if not annoying, quirk. It happens every time they drive. For a person that is so very level headed otherwise, this quirk is perplexing. You see, they cannot seem to drive, even short distances, without becoming annoyed – rage-filled, actually – at other drivers. It seems all other drivers on the road drive too slow or too fast, too close or too far, too rude or too selfish. Much like the slave that could not forgive the debts owed them, even after their debt was forgiven, my driver cannot forgive the driving habits of others, even despite their own driving failings. I spend so much time pointing out that for every sin committed by those other drivers, my driver has a similar, if not exact, offenses. My beloved driver is also often too slow, too fast, too close, too far, too rude, or too selfish. And no matter how many times I point it out, my driver cannot seem to see their own unhealthy driving patterns.

Did you spot it? Did you notice that my beloved driver is not the only one focusing too much on the offenses of others? Big picture – I also, by focusing on the offenses of my beloved driver, am spending far too much energy on their offenses and not enough on my own. What gives me the right to point out every time my driver rages? I have no business being so pompous as to assume I should act as judge and jury over my beloved driver’s driving patterns. So now I try – really, really hard (it is an effort) not to point out every hypocrisy. Because doing so is a hypocrisy of my own. Well spotted, reader. Well spotted.

Matthew 18:23-35

“For this reason the kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who wished to settle accounts with his slaves. When he began the reckoning, one who owed him ten thousand talents was brought to him; and, as he could not pay, his lord ordered him to be sold, together with his wife and children and all his possessions, and payment to be made. So the slave fell on his knees before him, saying, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you everything.’ And out of pity for him, the lord of that slave released him and forgave him the debt. But that same slave, as he went out, came upon one of his fellow slaves who owed him a hundred denarii; and seizing him by the throat, he said, ‘Pay what you owe.’ Then his fellow slave fell down and pleaded with him, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you.’ But he refused; then he went and threw him into prison until he would pay the debt. When his fellow slaves saw what had happened, they were greatly distressed, and they went and reported to their lord all that had taken place. Then his lord summoned him and said to him, ‘You wicked slave! I forgave you all that debt because you pleaded with me. Should you not have had mercy on your fellow slave, as I had mercy on you?’ And in anger his lord handed him over to be tortured until he would pay his entire debt. So my heavenly Father will also do to every one of you, if you do not forgive your brother or sister from your heart.”