We were out in the middle of nowhere, but he was parched. So very thirsty. I kept driving until there was finally a place to stop, and I ran in and bought my little guy a liter of water. He gratefully glugged down half the bottle, and his thirst was satisfied. He even had a little smile on his face as we continued on down the road.
And then his sister grew thirsty, too.
She asked him for a drink of his water, for she too had grown thirsty. He furrowed his brow and wouldn't share.
Not even a sip.
He'd so quickly forgotten what it felt like to drink after feeling parched.
Jesus spoke of a man who owed a debt he couldn't even dream of paying--it would be into the millions in our day. The master was going to make the man sell everything to pay back the debt, but the man begged, "Be patient with me, and I will pay it back." The man's gracious master did one far better: He forgave the debt completely. The servant went away a man who was no longer indebted...
...and one who forgot how it felt for his debt to be paid.
The forgiven servant soon came upon a man who owed him hardly anything--only a few dollars, in our day--and he began to choke the man, demanding that the man pay him back the money immediately.
"Be patient with me, and I will pay it back," the man pleaded--but he was shown no mercy. Instead, the servant had the man imprisoned until he could pay every penny back.
When the master heard of this, he wasn't even kind of okay with it.
"You wicked servant!" He chastised. "I canceled all that debt of yours because you begged me to. Shouldn't you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you?" The master then turned the unmerciful servant over to be tortured until he could pay back his debt (Matthew 18:23-35).
The servant had been shown mercy when he thirsted for it, but refused to show mercy to another who too was thirsty.
How can we receive the great measure of mercy we've been shown from a God who canceled every last bit of our insurmountable sin debt, and then refuse to extend mercy to those who wrong us? There's just no place for mercilessness in light of the mercy that has been heaped upon us.
Who needs us to offer a sip of mercy? Do we really have any right to deny them when we've been drenched with forgiveness ourselves? No matter what wrongs we've suffered, are any greater than the whole of our sins that have been fully forgiven of us?
Somebody is parched and in need of the refreshment of mercy today.
Will you share?