Who Owes Who?
Just randomly out of the blue someone asked me a question. They said “If someone really hurt a member of your family, like your kids, would you forgive them?” Now, my mind went to all the extremes of someone hurting my little man, my little chick, and/or my wife. At first, I thought that I’d hurt them back, you know…make ‘em PAY! They deserve punishment…they OWE me! Then, I thought that maybe if they got down on their knees and begged my forgiveness and tearfully apologized, I mean, if I saw true repentance…I’d forgive them. Then, I read a Bible Story and a Bible verse that changed my opinion about the whole thing. In fact, it changed my whole LIFE! I hope it changes yours.
In 2 Samuel 11-12 we read the story of David’s sin with Bathsheba. If you have ever thought you could not be saved because of something you did that was bad…you really need to read about what David did. The famous giant slayer became the infamous adulterer. He got another man’s wife pregnant, then committed first degree murder in an attempt to cover it all up. Not only did he commit adultery and murder, other innocent men were killed in the process (2 Samuel 11:17).
Several months went by before David was sorry. Basically, a preacher came by and told him a story. David was convicted of his sin, and he repented. David confessed to Nathan, “I have sinned against the Lord.” (2 Samuel 12:13) When you continue reading that verse, you find that God’s forgiveness was immediate. However, in verse 14, even though David is told that he himself will not die for his sin, he is told that his little baby boy will die. The baby got sick. David fasted, prayed, and pleaded with the Lord to spare his life, but the child still died. Who harmed David’s baby boy? God did, but only because payment had to be made for David‘s sin. Remember? The wages of sin…is death! (Romans 6:23)
I hated this story for a long time. When Tonya’s first two pregnancies ended in miscarriage, I thought when I read this story that it meant my babies were dying because of some things I’d done in my past. I thought God was paying me back. However, when I played the comparison game, I didn’t think I deserved it. I mean, I didn’t do anything as bad as David! I didn’t do anything as bad as other people that were having completely healthy babies (then not taking care of them). It turned me really bitter for a while.
Then came the day when I “got it.” I personalized Isaiah 53…”He was pierced for MY transgression, He was crushed for MY iniquity, the punishment that bought ME peace was upon Him, and by His wounds I am healed. I, like sheep, have gone astray, I turned to MY own way: and the Lord laid on Him MY iniquity. He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth…Yet it was the Lord‘s will to crush Him and cause Him to suffer.”
So, back to the original question…would I forgive? I don’t really have a choice…I have to! I have already harmed another person’s kid. Look what I did to Jesus…God’s kid.
Anybody that says to someone who has harmed them or one of their family members “I’ll kill them, I’ll pay them back, they owe me…blah, blah, blah” does not understand the forgiveness that they received when they repented of their sins, placed them upon Jesus, and asked the Lord to forgive them and come into their heart. You don’t just ask for forgiveness and He says “Sure, no problem!” and that’s that.
It goes more like this. I repented of my sins when I was 16 years old. Just like David in 2 Samuel 12:13 I confessed “I have sinned against you, Lord.” From now on, every time I repent of a sin, I finish verse 13 and 14 this way and pretend this is God‘s response to me…”Yes, but I have forgiven you, Adam, and you won’t die for your sin. But, because you have done this, Adam…MY child, my one and only perfect Son, Jesus, died!”
Nobody owes me anymore.
Nobody will ever owe me anything.
I owe Him everything!
This Easter season, thank Him. Then, thank Him again for what He did.