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What the Unforgiving Servant teaches us about Forgiveness

One day, Peter came up to Jesus, and asked—“teacher, how many times am I supposed to forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?” Jesus laughed and shook His head (my translation), no Peter, up to seventy times seven times. I am sure Peter was stunned by that revelation. 490 times? (insert the surprised look emoji here).

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No human can offend you 490 times at a stretch, maybe over the span of a lifetime. Jesus was trying to teach us a lesson here, that we are to forgive people, every time, they happen to offend us. He did not just stop at that revelation; he went ahead to tell his disciples a story. So there was this servant who owed his master, let’s say 20,000 dollars. His master threatened to throw him in jail until the last penny was paid, and the servant pleaded with his master, with all that was in him, to spare him. And that he needed more time to pay off the debt. The master eventually forgave the debt, and let him go free.

Then this servant, had the audacity, to go pressure a fellow servant, to pay him back his let’s say $100, yes it was that inconsequential in comparison. This servant too pleaded with all that was within him, but he refused and threw the servant in prison until he was able to pay back the debt. The master somehow got wind of it (Matthew 18:32) and then got upset, and threw him in prison as well, until he paid the $20,000.

Many of us may say—what a wicked servant! Why didn’t he forgive his colleague? Was it that big of a deal? The truth is, we are the unforgiving servant. The master is Jesus, and the one who owed $100, is our neighbor. The things we have committed against God are deserving of death, but yet, He forgave us, paying the ultimate price through Jesus Christ, so we could walk free, and not carry the burden ($20,000). Still when out neighbor sins against us ($100), we take it upon ourselves, to demand from them everything until we feel better about ourselves.

"Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you." Mark 11:25

Whatever anyone has done against us, pales in comparison, in what we have done to Christ. When we don’t forgive, we are like the unforgiving servant, who throws their counterpart in prison, disregarding everything our master (God) has forgiven us for. The bible says that before we make our request to God, if we have anything against anyone, we should go and make peace first, before bringing our offering to him. So let’s do better, and not withhold forgiveness from anyone, even when we think they don’t deserve it, because God wouldn’t forgive us our trespasses either.

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About The Author: Evi Idoghor is a Christian, writer, and content creator on She is a chemical engineering graduate from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. Consumed by her love for writing and desire to effect change, she launched her online platform––Let’s Talk Nation––to tap into her creativity and start meaningful conversations that would make a difference around the world.

Most of her writing has been influenced by her time spent in America, where she lived for about 11 years. Also, she lived in Nigeria and South Korea and currently loves traveling the world while learning about other fascinating cultures. You can find her on all social media platforms with @eviidoghor.

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