It’s a good thing God is patient with us.
We fall down, kick ourselves, get back up, and promise this time we’ll do better. Next time we’ll be stronger.
And then we do it again.
I wonder if that ever frustrates God?
Even so, he keeps on forgiving, keeps on blessing, keeps on bearing with us.
And he asks us to do the same with others.
Remember the story of the king who had a servant who owed him 10,000 talents?
A talent, by the way, was how much a worker would earn in about 20 years, so 10,000 talents was the equivalent of how much you could earn in about 200,000 years.
In other words, this servant will never pay it back.
He’s in debt for the rest of his life.
So the king did the unthinkable. He canceled the debt. Wiped it away. Acted as if it’d never existed.
It’s hard to imagine how excited this servant must’ve been. He’d gotten his life back.
When Jesus tells this story, he focuses more on what this once-indebted-but-now-forgiven servant did with someone who owed him about a hundred days’ pay.
A hundred days versus 200,000 years.
He’s just been forgiven of an incredibly huge debt, so what will he do with a debt that’s miniscule in comparison?
He does the unthinkable.
He chokes the guy, then throws him in prison until he pays him back.
The Lord’s point is clear.
We’ve been forgiven of an unpayable debt, so we’ve got to extend that same kind of patience toward others.
Do you struggle to forgive?
Today, right now, are you holding a grudge?
Are you impatient with the weaknesses of the people around you? Your spouse, your kids, your co-workers, your employees?
Paul says one of the marks of spirituality is patience: “bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive” (Colossians 3:13).
The story the Lord told doesn’t have a happy ending.
The king found out what his servant had done, so he threw him in prison “until he should pay all his debt” (Matthew 18:34).
In other words, the guy would serve a few thousand consecutive life sentences.
God’s patience forgives our sins and bears with our weaknesses.
He’s serious about it when he says we need to do the same.