Then the master called the servant in. ‘You wicked servant,’ he said, ‘I canceled all that debt of yours because you begged me to. Shouldn’t you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you?’ In anger his master handed him over to the jailers to be tortured, until he should pay back all he owed. (Mathew 18: 32-34)
Have you ever really read, I mean really read, what Jesus is saying in the parable of the unmerciful servant? We all know the story, Peter asks the Lord how many times he should forgive, 7 times, and Jesus says, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.” And then he tells the story. It’s the story of the forgiving King, but the servant who won’t forgive.
The ending is astonishing, “In his anger his master handed him over to the jailers to be tortured….”
What does this tell us? When you are in covenant, you have exchanged enemies. You let your covenant partner take care of your enemy, and you take care of his. There was also a Walk of Death between people in a covenant. This Walk of Death tells you curses get put upon you if you violate the covenant. What does this mean in our covenant with God? It means, our enemy is not people, but the devil, and we let him handle the people. So when we put our hatred on people, instead of the demons that are whispering to the people, we are actually violating covenant and inviting curses, or handing ourselves to the torturers. We have asked for this upon ourselves.
As We Forgive
Just look at the Lord’s prayer; Forgive us our trespasses, AS WE FORGIVE THOSE WHO TRESPASS AGAINST US…. If we don’t forgive, we are asking God to treat us in the manner we have treated others. How did God forgive us? He forgave us everything. If we, in turn, don’t forgive, we hand ourselves over to the torturers.
Deliver us from Evil…. Deliverance is letting go of the trauma and hurt that people have caused us. This kind of forgiveness is hard. There are a lot of people who have had major hurt in their lives. Major trauma to forgive. But this is the kind of forgiveness that sets you free and places you in the hands of Christ.
This forgiveness does not mean people don’t receive consequences. Or that we turn a blind eye to the crimes people commit. It simply means that the victimized person lets God handle the human being; His judgment, and eternal consequences. And that the victim actually wishes in their heart that everyone know the love of God and will one day be in his glory. A converted heart is something to rejoice over. Damnation to hell is not. How do we forgive like this?
We cannot do it without asking God for help and receiving what he wants to give us. We must ask Him to teach us to love like he does. To teach us to forgive like He does. This enables us to close the door on the devil and take back our domain. Our hatred should be at sin and the devil, this is holy hatred. It should not be directed at people. Take back authority over our own lives from the devil and live and walk in true freedom.
I went to the visit Father’s of Mercy a few weeks ago. As I sat in the church looking at the image God told Saint Faustina to bring us, all I can say is God impressed upon me how much mercy is poured over us. It was as if I could palpably feel his mercy, and the communion of Saints, those that lived in his mercy.
I began to ask God to pour any mercy people reject over me, so I can be a conduit of His mercy in the world. I think that’s what he wants for all of us.
I asked God to show me the areas in my life where I need to forgive, and where He wants to heal me. He wants to set me free. He wants to set you free too. Ask Him to show you who you need to forgive. Then close that door to the devil, and live in the freedom of God’s mercy and love.
Anger and Rage
When I look at the news today, I see a whole lot of anger and rage, and not a lot of mercy and forgiveness. We can’t control what’s going on out there, but we can make our own hearts living sanctuaries of mercy and love. And we can spread it to each person we encounter. Don’t hand yourself to the torturers. Get on your knees and ask God to show you how to forgive. Start with your own family. Change in the world begins in your own heart. You can become a light in the world of darkness.