The servant’s master took pity on him, canceled the debt and let him go. (Matthew 18:27 NIV)
Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law. (Romans 13:8 NIV)
When my husband and I decided to retire, our goal was to be debt free, so that we could live on a reduced income. One by one we have managed to pay off our debts. A few weeks ago I sent off what I thought was the last payment on a credit card. The amount owed was 351.06, which is exactly what I sent the credit card company. I was excited about getting my next statement. I thought of the joy and relief I would feel when I looked at the bill and the amount due was $000.00.
However, a few weeks later, I got my statement and I was terribly disappointed to see the amount due was $2.57. I paid the bill on time, but they still charged me interest. I immediately sent the $2.57 to them and am hoping they don’t charge me interest on that amount.
My experience with the world’s economy made me appreciate God’s economy. In Matthew 18:23-35, we find the parable of the unmerciful or unforgiving servant. A king wanted to collect outstanding debts his servants owed him. One man owed the king 10,000 bags of gold. When the man begged the king to give him more time, the king cancelled the debt and let him go. No sooner was he free than he went after one of his peers who owed him 10 gold coins. When the man could not pay his debt, the servant had him thrown in prison. When the king found out about the forgiven man’s lack of mercy toward his brother, he handed him over to the jailers to be tortured till he paid his own debt.
I am a sinner saved by grace. I did not deserve God’s mercy. God sent his son, Jesus to die on a cross in order that my debt might be paid in full. When I first believed and asked God to forgive me, he cancelled my debt and set me free. The only outstanding debt left to pay is “…to do justly, To love mercy, And to walk humbly…” (Micah 6:8 KJV), or as Paul puts it: “…the continuing debt to love one another…” (Romans 13:8 NIV)
When we are saved by God’s grace, our debt is cancelled, but there is a continuing debt: to love God and to love one another as God has loved us. Every time I remember that bill for $2.57, I will remember the commandment of love.
Dearest Heavenly Father,
You love us with an everlasting and incomprehensible love. You are patient and always ready to forgive us when we cry out to you for mercy. Thank you that our salvation has set us free to love you and one another.
In the name of Jesus, who came to seek and to save sinners,