Pay It Forward

Tammy De Ruyter

READ : Matthew 18:22-35

You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt because you pleaded with me. And should

you not have had mercy on your fellow servant, as I had mercy on you? (vv. 32-33)

Several years ago, the movie Pay It Forward left an indelible mark on American culture.
The premise of the movie is that if someone does a kind deed, the recipient should do
something kind for someone else: pay the kindness forward. “Random acts of kindness,” for
an all-too-brief season, became a cultural phenomenon.

The indebted servant of Matthew 18 has an opportunity to “pay it forward.” The servant
owes his master a ridiculously high sum. The king could have punished him severely with
beatings and jail, the norm for the day. But instead, he grants a pardon to the servant.
The debt is wiped clean. In the following scene the
servant has opportunity to do
likewise, to show compassion on a fellow servant in debt. Instead, he viciously attacks
the man and demands to be repaid. For his injustice, he is thrown into prison, this time
“until the debt is paid.”

We are like the cruel servant of Matthew 18. Born into a state of sin, we owe God an
infinite debt that none of us can ever repay. Justice demands that he throw us into
“debtors- prison.” But God in his mercy has paid our bill. Jesus died on the cross, the
debt is gone, and we are forgiven.

Have you experienced God’s forgiveness? Then your duty is clear. Pay it forward.


Lord, help me demonstrate the life-changing power of forgiveness.