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Posts tagged ‘Spiritual growth’

Parable of the Unmerciful Servant

When looking at Matthew 18:23-35 we can compare the human way and the godly way of forgiving and reactions about debts and attitudes towards others.

Once again we can find the master teacher using a story or parable to give a lesson. Jesus illustrates his view of unending mercy with a parable demonstrating how real lovers of God should think about the way God treats people. They also could look at the examples Jesus gave them and therefore could find enough reasons to extend unlimited forgiveness to others.

It can well be that the Nazarene rabbi had in mind a corrupt Herodian bureaucrat who has used his position to make himself wealthy, but has instead lost the Herod’s court a massive amount of money. Slaves could be in important roles in the Empires, so that they could accumulate wealth and power, even if they were in a master-slave relationship with the Emperor.

How often do we not encounter situations where we are confronted with matters that trouble us and with people who own something to us or should still have something to arrange for us? How often does it not happen that we are hurt by some one and that we have to arrange something to restore the relationship again?

John Nolland points out the annual income of Herod’s kingdom when he died in 4 B.C.E. was about 900 talents, to be divided between his sons (Nolland, Matthew, 756). This servant’s debt is more than ten times the value of Herod’s kingdom. In fact, the word translated as ten-thousand is often translated, “myriad,” an uncountable number.

When confronted with a person who did us wrong, him asking to have mercy with him, how much mercy do we want to give?

In Jesus’ parable we find a servant who has experienced an audacious act of mercy and has been released from the bondage of his debt. Though his reaction to others who had debts to him is not in comparison. In this story the man goes looking for the debtor to threaten him. He laid hands on him and took him by the throat, saying,

‘Pay me what you owe.’ (Matthew 18:28b)

This time we also find the fellow servant asking for forgiveness, using the exact same words as the unmerciful servant. He also asks for more time to raise the cash to pay the debt. This time the unmerciful servant is not willing to extend him additional time to pay. The debt may also been large, but not unmanageable as the debt of the one who asks to be paid back. As a reaction for not being paid back straight away the debtor is being put in the same prison in which the unmerciful servant was going to go if he had not been shown mercy by his master.

Have you thought about it how Jesus came to pay our debts? And can you imagine how his heavenly Father was willing to accept Jesus his ransom offering, so that we could be liberated of our debt to God?

You may perhaps not go around seeking to plot your revenge or wallow in a cesspool of bitter emotions and animosity, but how would you react to those who have debts (in all sorts of ways) to you? For people who did wrong to you would you like to erase them from your memory, as if they never existed, and as such would think you do not have to forgive that person or that all matters would be set?

We should know that it is no healthy situation if we want to save ourselves trouble of seeking to be the mature one by absolving and letting go, not having to carry around the pain of what a person did to hurt you.

The ones who want to call themselves Christian should be followers of Christ and try to have the same attitude as Christ. The way we act against people who did wrong against us is very important in the eyes of the Lord. Vengeance is a word and an act which should not be in our way of life. we should be careful not to let the ego and pride provoke us to create mountains out of mole holes in situations where a simple, it’s okay never mind, would have solved the problem.

Today it seem a fashion to offend people or to point a finger at some one. We should know that nobody is perfect and as such people could do things to us we do not like. It also can well be that people will mess things up, irritate and will disappoint you in ways that will astound you, and indeed worse still you are just as capable yourself of doing the same actions to them, nobody is above being the wrong at any point in time.

This parable should get us thinking about the attitude we want to take to others, who we think have wronged us.
It might not be easy but we we should strive to provide for grace for everybody, and should be humble enough to approach the other with love to forgive.

We live in a fallen world where terrible events happen to us beyond our control, but as justified as it may seem emotionally, holding on to that pain does us more harm than good, it can never make us happy in the long run.

Forgiving may not always be easy, it takes a lot of maturity and spiritual growth for us to come to a place where we can truly let go of hurts, but it is a gift that is worth offering to yourself.

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Preceding posts

Matthew 18:1-6 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Children and Stumbling

Matthew 18:1-6 Reborn and pliable as a child

Matthew 18:7-11 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Danger of Stumbling-blocks

Matthew 18:12-14 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Searching for Lost Sheep

Matthew 18:15-17 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Three Steps to Gaining a Brother

Matthew 18:18-20 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: The Authority of Two or Three

Matthew 18:21-22 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Forgive 77 Times!

Matthew 18:23-35 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: The Kingdom and Forgiveness

Ableness to forgive those who wronged us

Summer time to spend some more time at the growing process of your faith

Most of the time of the year people have an excuse that they have no time because they have to do this or that for work. Work often gets the first place and next comes the time to do the shopping for the household-duties and cooking. After a full day of work, cooking and eating there is ample good family time and most of it is used to relax. Not so much time is made free to read and study the Bible.

In the Summertime (Mungo Jerry song)

In the Summertime (Mungo Jerry song) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

July and August are the moths lots of people do have some time for themselves. It is that free time which is also ideal to pick up your Bible and do some reading in it. The Summertime is ideal to take some time off and to think about more important matters than money and work to get the money in the till.

These Summer-months are also the good time to cultivate your personal devotional time. Throughout the year we spend enough time for making sure enough money shall come in to be able to live relaxed or in a good way. For some people the relaxing bit does not seem to come any more because work has taken them up so much that it burns them up. Today we see many people with a burn out, not happy any more, but so frustrated it seems to eat them up. They do not seem to find a source to renew their energy any more. Though they should know there is A Source available for all people to recharge and also to come out stronger. Lots of people do not want to know about that Source, but it is ‘set apart’ or ‘holy’ source. It is a Living Water provided by an unending Source of Life. It comes from the Divine Creator Who is the eternal Spirit God. He is the source of all spiritual development, Which cannot be neglected by man. Without that Source man cannot grow and can not become mature. Transformation begins with time in His Word and prayer. And now is an ideal time to take time for it.

Man’s goal is to become more independent and self-sufficient as we age. But in the spiritual realm, the opposite is true. Those who are mature in Christ and in his heavenly Father recognize their own inadequacy and rely on the Holy Spirit within them. They know Jesus could not do much without That Only One God. Jesus was very well aware that all he did was only possible because God allowed him to do so and because God wanted him to give the Power to do so. We too need power in our life. We, like Jesus, do need the Strong Hand of the heavenly Father to guide us and to pull us over our difficulties, the many gorges and ravines. In Him we should trust and feel secure.

Now the Sun-rays heats the earth around us, we can feel her warmth also as a source of energy. Forgetting all about work we can stroll in the God given nature and see all the beauties of it, where when at work we do not have much time for.

So let yourself go, take time of, and enjoy the beauties of nature. But do not forget Who is the Source of it and give also some spare time to Him. Now when off from work it is time to make time for God and to read His Words, the Bible. Now it is time to take on our other life job, giving ourself to God so that He can do His job to transform our character and empower us to accomplish everything He calls us to do.

Getting older doesn’t mean maturity in God’s eyes. By digging into Scripture and developing righteous habits, we can use our years to grow stronger in the Lord instead of wasting time with passivity. No one accidentally becomes mature. Spiritual growth requires a diligent pursuit of God.

Do not waste your time, give some precious time to your Creator and allow yourself being modelled by Him.

wpid-Photo-Nov-25-2013-520-PM

Photograph taken from Unwind & De Stress

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Additional reading

  1. Allow yourself a chill-out day
  2. Time to Unwind
  3. Holiday making and dreaming
  4. Give your worries to God
  5. Witnesses of Christ and of his gospel
  6. Shabbat Mevarchim opening to the Summer-holiday period
  7. 2016 Summer holiday
  8. Home-stayers and their to do list
  9. Holiday time reading time
  10. Summerholiday season time to read the Bible
  11. Of the many books Only the Bible can transform
  12. Summer holiday time to knock and ask, and time to share
  13. Counting sands and stars
  14. Happy August!
  15. An uncovering book to explore
  16. Psst! Spread The Good Word!
  17. Character transformed by the influence of our fellowships
  18. Christ entered our world to transform our lives

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Further reading

  1. Humans choose to live in a world full of hate, war, and disharmony
  2. Feel like you’ve been through the wringer?
  3. Feeling Down…
  4. Burn-out
  5. Know the signs to combat workplace stres
  6. Can You Choose Well-being over Burn-out
  7. Setting Boundaries
  8. The Best Of The Season – haiku by Dennis Allen Lange
  9. The Good Summer Vibes You Need Today
  10. My summer of changes
  11. Don’t Work
  12. Everyone takes leaps of faith
  13. A stargazer’s thought
  14. Of everything celestial and a tiny speck; You. 
  15. The Perfect Plan
  16. Summertime by Kelly F. Barr
  17. July Family Vacation and More
  18. The Fleeting Days of Summer..
  19. Life Lately: The Best Things About Summer
  20. A Lot of “Lately”
  21. Summer Memories Relived at Santa’s Village 
  22. Hope and Faith
  23. Lord’s True Love
  24. Today, I Will Trust God To . . . .
  25. Do What You Can do First? Wrong!
  26. You Must be in the Dark to See the Light
  27. You Can Overcome Your Fears and Challenges. Yes, You Can!
  28. Knowing Your Purpose
  29. You are Invited
  30. God’s Pruning Instrument
  31. Trust God!

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