A Modern Parable of the Unforgiving Slave:
A bank owner wanted to settle an overdo account with a farmer who owed him several million dollars, so he called him and asked him to come to his office. As the two discussed the situation it became apparent that the farmer couldn’t even meet the monthly premium. The owner sighed and said, “Well, sir, I’m afraid we are going to have to repossess your house and car and all your equipment. We also need to liquidate all your stock to get this debt paid.”
The man pushed his chair back and dropped to his knees in tears. He plead with the owner saying, “Times are hard sir. My crop failed, and I cannot find another job. Besides, this farm is all I’ve ever known. Please be patient with me, and I will pay you everything!”
The owner looked at the man and felt compassion. He thought to himself, “This has been such a great year. I have made so much money that I can take a hit like this without really feeling it. Besides, what if I was the one in that chair?”
“I am moved to compassion by your situation,” he told the man. “I have received so many blessings…I tell you what, forget the debt. You don’t owe me a penny.” The man leaped to his feet and nearly jumped over the desk hugging the owner. “O, thank you so much!” he exclaimed. “This is incredible!” He ran out of the office rejoicing.
Now on the farmers land was a small share cropper’s house. It wasn’t worth much but an old man rented it from him. Not long after his meeting at the bank, the farmer went to his tenant’s house to collect the rent money. “Have you got your rent?” He asked.
“No.” replied his tenant. “I’m sorry. I know I said I would have it, but I lost my job, and I had to use it on food.”
“You’ve been late nearly every month for almost eight years,” the farmer screamed. “I am tired of it. Pay what you owe me now!”
The tenant begged him, “Please be patient with me, and I will get it.”
But the farmer wasn’t willing. He stormed out of the house and had the man evicted.
Now the bank owner heard about everything that had happened, so he called the farmer and asked him to come back to his office. As soon as the farmer stepped inside his office the owner hollered, “You wicked man! I forgave you all that debt because you begged me. Shouldn’t you have had compassion on your tenant, as I had compassion for you? Now I will do everything I had planned to do before!”
Adapted by John Shearhart from Matthew 18:21-35
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