nce upon a time there lived a king who had ten vicious and deadly dogs. Whenever any of his servants would do something that displeased him, he would feed them to his dogs that he kept in a special cage.
Now this king had a servant who had served his master loyally for 10 years. One day this servant did something that displeased the king, so the king ordered that he be fed to those deadly dogs.
“I served you for ten years and is this what I get in return? Please, give me ten days respite, then feed me to the dogs.”
Thus the servant begged the king and the king agreed. The servant then went to the keeper of the deadly dogs and asked if he could help him take care of the dogs for the next ten days. The keeper was baffled, but agreed. So for the next ten days, the servant served the dogs. He fed them, bathed them and played with them. He took them out for exercise, stroked them and spoke kind words to them.
When the ten days were up, the king arrived to witness his servant being thrown to the dogs. But when the servant was thrown into the cage, something unexpected happened… when he was thrown into the cage of those vicious dogs, instead of tearing him to shreds, the dogs gathered round him and began to lick him. The king was very surprised at this sight so he asked what had happened to his dogs. The servant replied.
“I served these dogs for only ten days, yet they never forgot what I did for them. But I served you faithfully for ten years, and you forgot all of that at my first mistake.”
Upon hearing this, the king realized his mistake and set the servant free.
Sometimes it’s easier to focus on the negative or the bad that others have done to us. When we do so we tend to forget all the good moments, good memories, good deeds and all the good things we’ve shared together. We tend to forget mercy. In such moments we lose our cool and we want to punish or discard the other in some way.
This story reminds us to not take into account the mistakes or the wrongdoings of others, but to remember rather the acts/words of kindness done or said to us.
Jesus teaches us this, “For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.” (Matthew 6:14) And also, “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ forgave you.” (Ephesians 4:32) This is the way of wisdom and life.
“A person’s wisdom yields patience; it is to one’s glory to overlook an offense.” (Proverbs 19:11)