I am an Orthodox Christian priest. I have been Orthodox my entire life and a priest since July 2007. From my perspective, in America at least, we have lost the functional understanding of our Orthodox Christian Faith. We must take seriously that our Traditions have purpose and are not a just a litany of tasks and obligations we must perform. To "boil down" the Faith to that creates an environment I believe is what the Apostle Paul taught against. Glory to God.
When Jesus speaks to us about forgiveness, He uses the image of financial debt and the emotional burden of greed that goes along with finances. In the Gospel story about forgiveness, Jesus offers the parable of a king forgiving a debt that could never have been paid off, but was forgiven. The greedy servant, rather than being thankful for the mercy shown to him by the king, immediately demanded his fellow servant to “either pay up, or go to jail,” even though the debt was a mere 100-days pay. Greed had created a cold heart on the part of the servant, so the king sentenced him to prison.
What does this parable have to teach us? Jesus warns, “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) Your account has come due, and Jesus is willing to forgive the debt of your sins. In return, He asks you to open your heart to those who sinned against you, and forgive them, just as He has forgiven you.
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