Yesterday, I explored God's amazing mercy He has promised us. Today, I am looking at how the realization of His great mercy is supposed to change our lifestyle and heart. In fact, today's reading really brings home why God tells us it is important that we love mercy in Micah 6:8. This is a matter very close to His heart because of the great sacrifice He made for us. He extended us mercy and would like us to extend mercy toward others in as well. Please look up Matthew 18:21-35.
Peter begins by asking Jesus how many times we are supposed to forgive a person; seven times seemed acceptable. Jesus answered his question with, "seventy seven times," which almost seems as if He was saying to not bother counting. He then told them the parable in this reading. I want to explain the difference between a talent and a danarius. Jesus started with a man that owed 10,000 bags of gold (or 10,000 talents). Biblegateway.com explains that a talent is worth 20 years wages and this man owed 10,000 talents! Basically, this was a debt that the man would never be able to repay. A danarius is equal to one day's wage and the other servant owed 100 danarius, which was a lot of money but realistic to repay over time. The master was enraged by the first servant's lack of mercy toward the second servant after his debt (a much larger debt) had been forgiven.
Because of sin, our debt to God is like the first servant who had an impossible debt to pay back. We have received the ultimate pardon from the worst punishment and it is as if we had never known mercy when we cannot extend mercy to others. This isn't always easy because sometimes we have had some very terrible things happen to us by other people, but we need to remember that if this is something that God requires of us then He has given us the ability to forgive. When I have struggled to forgive someone, I have prayed that God would change my heart so that I could forgive. It is like a weight taken off my back when I can let go of the bitterness and unforgiving heart.
Are you allowing God's amazing mercy to change your heart so you can show mercy to others?