Two men enter with a prisoner in chains. They bring him before a king and throw him down. The king addresses the prisoner.
KING: “My records show that you owe me $3,267,500. Pay today, or I will sell you, your wife, your children and all you own to pay the debt.”
SERVANT: “Oh, please, your Majesty! Please have mercy on me! I can’t pay you today, but I will! I promise!”
KING: “Hmmmm… On second thought, there’s no way you could every pay off such a large sum. You seem repentant. Your debts are completely forgiven.”
SERVANT: “Really? Completely forgiven? Oh, THANK YOU, your Majesty!”
The servant leaves, bouncing out of the room while thanking the king. As soon as he leaves the king’s presence, however, he comes across a man in the hallway and begins yelling at and choking him.
SERVANT: “You lousy rat! Where’s that lunch money you borrowed from me? You better pay up!”
MAN (falling on his knees): “Oh, I will! I will! I promise you will have all your money back, but I don’t have it on me today!”
SERVANT: “Don’t have it on you, huh? Guards! Arrest this man and throw him into prison! He owes me money!” (Guards enter and take man to prison.)
Several of the king’s servants observed the unforgiving servant’s behavior, and they quickly reported it to the king. Enraged, he demands that the unforgiving servant be brought before him.
KING: “I’ve heard how you treated the man who owed you lunch money. Because you are such an unforgiving servant and couldn’t overlook such a small amount after I had forgiven you of so much, I’m ordering you to be tortured by my guards until you’re ready to forgive that man.”
Isn’t it silly that the unforgiving servant couldn’t forgive a few dollars after he had just been forgiven millions of dollars? God says that ‘s what it’s like when we won’t forgive people for things they’ve done to us. Compared to how much God had to forgive us for, it’s like the difference between millions of dollars and lunch money.
When we won’t forgive others, our relationship with God suffers. It’s like being in prison. It won’t keep us from getting into heaven, but it will make life miserable. But if we will forgive those who intend to harm us, God forgives us and fixes our relationship with Him again.