In Matthew 18:21-35, Jesus tells a parable. As is often the case with parables, it is powerful and unpredictable. You don’t expect the way it sneaks up and surprises us by pointing out our own failures and need for grace. This parable is no exception.
You will note something powerful with what the unmerciful servant does after he refuses to cancel the other servant’s debt. He “seized him by the throat” (v. 28) and had him thrown into jail (v. 30)
Moments earlier, the king forgave him and canceled this same man’s debt, but his unwarranted bitterness and anger turned him from a victim into the victimizer.
It feels so natural to make someone pay. A sense of justice quickly goes into overdrive and revenge. You may not choke anyone, but you may shut someone out of your life. Bitterness gets its foot in the door and eventually, if the situation is not addressed and forgiveness is not granted, it takes over your life.
That’s why it is so important to practice forgiveness on a daily basis when an offense is committed against you.
If you don’t start with the little skirmishes, you’ll begin to lose the battles, which will eventually cost you your peace!