VIEWING FORGIVENESS FROM THE PERSPECTIVE OF GOD AND MAN
OUR PERSPECTIVE WHEN OFFENDED
Then came Peter unto him and said: Lord, how often shall my brother offend against me, and I forgive him? till seven times? Matthew 18:21
Notice that the focus of St. Peter's mind was retaliation. It was only a question of how long he had to wait before gaining revenge.
GOD'S BIGGER PERSPECTIVE
Jesus saith to him: I say not to thee, till seven times; but till seventy times seven times.
Therefore is the kingdom of heaven likened to a king, who would take an account of his servants. And when he had begun to take the account, one was brought to him, that owed him ten thousand talents. And as he had not wherewith to pay it, his lord commanded that he should be sold, and his wife and children and all that he had, and payment to be made.
A man so hopelessly in debt would have no ability to pay this debt just as we have no ability to repay God for what it cost Him to redeem us with the blood of Jesus Christ.
But that servant falling down, besought him, saying: Have patience with me, and I will pay thee all. And the lord of that servant being moved with pity, let him go and forgave him the debt.
This man is not yet willing to admit that he can't pay back what he owes.
But when that servant was gone out, he found one of his fellow servants that owed him an hundred pence: and laying hold of him, throttled him, saying: Pay what thou owest.
And his fellow servant falling down, besought him, saying: Have patience with me, and I will pay thee all.
And he would not: but went and cast him into prison, till he paid the debt.
It is quite possible that this fellow was motivated by the desire to get a reserve of money so he would never again have to bear the humility of poverty. Yet this is the quality of heart God wants each of us to have throughout life. "Blessed are the poor in spirit. .." (Matthew 5:3)
Now his fellow servants seeing what was done, were very much grieved, and they came and told their lord all that was done.
Then his lord called him; and said to him: Thou wicked servant, I forgave thee all the debt, because thou besoughtest me:
Shouldst not thou then have had compassion also on thy fellow servant, even as I had compassion on thee?
And his lord being angry, delivered him to the torturers until he paid all the debt. So also shall my heavenly Father do to you, if you forgive not every one his brother from your hearts. Matthew 18:22-35
And so lastly we read from Ephesians 4:32, That we must “forgive one another, even as God hath forgiven you in Christ.