I have been reminded of the parable of the man who received mercy to have his huge debt canceled, but would not have mercy to cancel a small debt owed by his neighbor. I read it again in Matthew 18: 21-36.
Obviously this man’s heart was not right. He knew how to beg to get what he wanted (deceitful manipulation), but he received with ingratitude. When his neighbor asked for mercy, his self-centered heart was still only thinking of himself. He had not really seen the Master’s heart. He only wanted the blessing. Are there people like that today who only want what God can give, but will not follow after His heart?
When we realize the huge debt of sin against us that the Father canceled through the blood and death of Jesus, we should overflow with gratitude. We should realize that it was impossible for us to pay that debt AND be forever thankful to Him for His love, grace, and mercy. When we really experience His love, mercy, and grace, our heart is changed. We are no longer bound to Him by debt, but now our heart is bound to His by love (Paul calls this being a bondservant.). We desire to be like Him. When He asks that we likewise have mercy on others, how could we refuse?
Now we understand why the man with the unmerciful heart ends up required to pay his debt under penalty of torture. He was unrepentant and still wicked and deceptive in his heart! The same theme stands…..salvation and forgiveness requires true repentance and a changed heart, it is not received only in words and a one time prayer asking to be saved. God looks on the heart. Are we really His or just hypocrites saying we are He paid our debt so we do not need to pay our debt in hell, but we still are choosing to belong to the world?