When we were children we played games like hide-and-seek. The “seeker” would count to ten and call out “ready or not, here I come” and then rush out to find those who were hiding. Once the “seeker” reached “10” there was no chance if we had not found a place to hide. Our best chance was to outrun the seeker to “base” and hope we could avoid being caught. Games are fun….but they aren’t life.
There are several times in the Gospel when Jesus tells us exactly what is going to happen when He returns to judge the world. The Gospel says, “The Kingdom of heaven is like…” and Jesus clearly describes what will take place. This week He says, “The kingdom of heaven is like a certain king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants.” (Matthew 18.23) We can almost hear Jesus calling “Ready or not, here I come.”
Obviously life isn’t a game, and once Jesus returns to judge it will be too late to make good on all the promises we have made to forgive and love others. In the Gospel, the master, “was angry, and delivered him to the torturers until he should pay all that was due to him.” (Matthew 18.34) Just how do we think He will deal with us?
We will all be forgiven by God for something we said or did or even thought. From the very small thing we did when we were children, to the very large thing we did last week, when we ask God for His forgiveness, He will forgive us. That is, IF we also forgive others for whatever thing they have done to us, small or large.
In fact, it is when we can’t forgive the small things that we are really in trouble. “Should you not also have had compassion on your fellow servant, just as I had pity on you?” (Matthew 18.33) God has already forgiven us for so many things. How can we dare to refuse to forgive even the small things from others? We aren’t children anymore.
When Jesus returns to judge the world we each will have to give an account of how we have forgiven others who sin against us. If we refuse to forgive others who sin against us, then the Father will not forgive us. He says very clearly, “So My heavenly Father also will do to you if each of you, from his heart, does not forgive his brother his trespasses.” (Matthew 18.35)
Life isn’t a game…it’s about forgiveness.