There I was, seated in row 17, flying from Dallas to Los Angeles. I began to day-dream, thinking about a friend of mine who had once treated me (what I thought was) unfairly in a financial dealing we'd had. As I turned the whole incident over in my mind, I remembered how I had originally consoled my bruised feelings by thinking to myself, "Well, that's okay, it's God's money anyway-God'll deal with him."
But flying on that jet through the night, I started to get an uneasy feeling inside, almost like vengeance. All of a sudden, it wasn't enough to put the whole thing in God's hands. I found myself thinking, "I sure hope the Lord brings that whole thing up when so-and-so stands before Him on the day of judgment."
And then, immediately, the Lord broke into my thoughts and said to me, "I'll be glad to bring it up - as long as you don't mind Me bringing up all the stupid things you've done!"
I burst out laughing, right there in row 17. All at once I saw the sad hilarity of it all. I had never really forgiven him at all! Even with all my spiritualizing about the Judgment Seat, what I was really saying in my heart was, "He'll get his!" With one sentence, the Holy Spirit showed me gross unforgiveness in my heart - not only toward this brother, but toward many others who had hurt or offended me.
In an instant, I completely understood Jesus' words, "If you do not forgive men, then your[heavenly] Father will not forgive your transgressions." (Matt. 6:15)
The Unmerciful Slave
In the 18th chapter of Matthew (vs. 23-35), there's an incredible tale about this guy who owed the king a whole lot of money. "And... there was brought to him one who owed him 10,000 talents" (worth more than ten million dollars today). "But since he did not have the means to repay, his lord commanded him to be sold, along with his wife and children and all that he had, and repayment to be made.
"The slave therefore falling down, prostrated himself before him, saying, 'Have patience with me, and I will repay you everything.' And the lord of that slave felt compassion and released him and forgave him the debt."
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