I cancelled all that debt of yours because you begged me to. Shouldn’t you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you? ~Matthew 18:32-33
Cancelling debts sets us free. At some point in our lives we have all been wronged. Someone has hurt us in some way. A debt was created in that relationship. From our perspective, it is our right to hold on to this debt until it is paid back. Until the offending party makes restitution the debt will stand. From God’s perspective it is one of the most self-destructive things we can do.
We put ourselves in a prison when we cling to the debts owed to us by others. If we demand payment we are the ones that ultimately pay. Our unresolved need for repayment manifests itself through anger. We become angry because we are owed something and it needs to be paid. In this anger we blind ourselves to the debt we have been forgiven. We play the role of the victim, completely forgetting the massive debt that was cancelled for us. Anytime we perceive ourselves as victims a laundry list of excuses will most certainly follow. As a victim we can write off almost any type of behavior. In our pain and hurt we continue to produce excuses and rationalizations for our poor behavior.
Overtime we start to believe the lie we are telling ourselves. We believe that it is acceptable to behave the way we do because we have no choice. We’ve been treated so poorly that our poor behavior is unavoidable. As a victim we aren’t proactive about changing. We become imprisoned to our own stubbornness and unwillingness to forgive.
In Matthew 18 Jesus confronts us. He lets us know that our desire to collect on the debts owed to us will cost us more than those who have hurt us. In verses 34-35 Jesus says “In anger his master handed him over to the jailers to be tortured, until he should pay back all he owed. This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother or sister from heart.”
Holding on to the debts of others, no matter how justified it may seem, leads to self-destruction. There is freedom in forgiveness. We must have a healthy understanding of the grace and mercy we’ve been shown and then pay it forward to those who owe us. If we don’t, our very freedom is at stake.
Written by Jim Lang: Jim is a graduate of the Colony of Mercy and full time staff member of America’s Keswick.
Click Here to Download our 2016 Daily Bible Reading Plan
Daily Quote: “If I cast up a confessed, repented, and forsaken sin against another, and allow my remembrance of that sin to colour my thinking and feed my suspicions, then I know nothing of Calvary love.” ~ Amy Carmichael
This Week’s Verse to Memorize: In the fear of the Lord there is strong confidence,
And His children will have a place of refuge. ~Proverbs 14:26 (NKJV)