His master summoned him and said to him, ‘You wicked servant! I forgave you your entire debt because you begged me to. Should you not have had pity on your fellow servant, as I had pity on you?’
Forgiveness does not begin with us. We forgive because we have been forgiven. Far too often we withhold forgiveness out of our own sense of injustice. Yet is not for the sake of justice that we extend mercy, but for the sake of sharing the mercy we have received.
It may help us to view mercy not as a currency we distribute but rather as an act of our will. I choose to forgive because of the love I have received. The amount of love and forgiveness is not a measurable quantity; it is the act of forgiveness itself that counts. The infinite mercy of God will not be exhausted if I share it with others. Mercy will in fact be increased by my act of charity in forgiving another. Without cost we have received; without cost we are to give. As in any relationship, keeping “score” is counterproductive. I will never pay back what I owe to God for the grace of salvation He has given me. The least I can do is share some small portion of God’s mercy with those who have offended me in much lesser ways.