A few Sunday's ago my Pastor preached from the parable in the Bible about the Unforgiving Debtor. The story is found in Matthew 18 and it's about this servant who owes a HUGE sum of money to the King. It's a debt so large that there is no way possible that he would ever be able to pay it back, and yet when called upon to return his debt, he begs the King for mercy and to give him more time to come up with the money. The king in turn is filled with compassion and lets the servant go, freeing him from his debt.
Unfortunately instead of now going off and showing the same kind of love and mercy to those around him, the servant goes and finds another man who owes him a small sum of money and demands to be paid. Then when the man cannot some up with the money, the servant immediately throws him into prison until he can clear his debt.
Well the King hears about this servants actions and as you might have guessed, is pretty angry and ends up changing his mind about the servants debt, throwing him into jail as well until he can pay everything back.
Basically it's a story about forgiveness and realizing how much we have been forgiven and thus how willing we should be to forgive others. I get that...but the day of this preaching, I also got something else. You see my pastor went on top talk about five steps of forgiveness and his last step was to cancel the debt and let it go, trusting God as judge and redeemer of all. He went on to make a comment about how this servant was acting like a king...and I couldn't help but think about how much I do the exact same thing.
While I know that God is suppose to be judge and ruler of all...and while I believe He is the only one in this world who can perfectly assess a situation and make a proper decision about it...I often times just want things my way. And while it's not like I actually come out and say that....or go out and throw a public tantrum, like a two year old demanding my want until I get it.....I do often act like a king by expecting things to go my way.
And I know it's not true, but a lot of time I act like the way I see things is the only right and proper way to see them and thus every one should just fall in line with my way of thinking. Then when things don't go my way or according to my plan I get angry and start blaming every one else for getting it wrong. I act like a king shouting "off with their heads"...condeming everyone for not living up to my standard... even though deep down I know I am only a servant.
I've been thinking about this a lot the last few weeks....and I've been thinking about how by acting this way I've basically been sitting in God's seat, instead of waiting for my invitaion to the head of the table (as proverbs 25 says). This will only lead to my own humilation... I know this...So I repent and I let go of the reigns of control of the world, asking God to give me the strength to never try to pick them up again.
And I take this time to admit...I am a servant....a servant of a King who has forgiven me a HUGE debt... a debt that I will never be able to repay. But unlike the unforgivening debtor in this story, I pray that I would learn to forgive others in the same way I have been forgiven...with an overwhelming love and grace. And in that sense I can act like my King. Amen.