I HAVE PAID MY DEBT
Ever hear that phrase before? I guess it feels good to be able to say that if you've actually paid off a debt.
I've heard people released from jail say, "I've paid by debt to society" thinking they've earned their freedom back.
There are several ways people express this. Siblings playing together, and one child, let's say Billy, breaks the Suzy's toy and Mom says, "Ok, Billy, now you give one of your toys to Suzy", as if that is repayment of a debt or a wrong suffered.
Someone offends you, mistreats you, gossips about you, cheats you, then offers this as an apology, "I am sorry if you were offended (or hurt, or misunderstood me, felt cheated)", and they go their way feeling 'debt free'.
But, the memory or the effects of the debt or the wrong suffered, linger. And, as hard as you try, you can't seem to shake those effects.
Our friends tell us all the Bible verses about forgiveness and what we should be doing and how we should be thinking, and that usually serves to drive us further into the grip of guilt and resentment.
Why is this?
THIS CAN SET YOU FREE
It is because forgiveness is not the problem. Sin is the problem.
Here is what the Prophetic Word of God says about this:
“Sacrifices and offerings, burnt offerings and sin offerings you did not desire, nor were you pleased with them”—though they were offered in accordance with the law."
Just as it is with God, so it is. Giving or getting an apology, whether sincere or insincere, is not what God desires for reconciliation, even if the offender makes restitution and neither should we, even "though they were offered in accordance with the law."
Even "though they were offered in accordance with the law."
So how do we rid ourselves of resentment or guilt from an offense?
You rid yourself of resentment, guilt, anger, the need for revenge by putting yourself into the debt of the offender - or of the offended.
WHAT, you say?
You go to God, pray, understand what He says about this, then DO as Jesus does.
God made Jesus, who knew no sin, to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.
You go to God and ask Him to make you sin on the other person's behalf, so that he or she might have a chance at righteousness in Him.
No more crazy that Jesus becoming sin for you. I mean, think about it. How does that work, anyway?
In plain language, God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ.
We are told to do the same. Make that same sacrifice. Give that same Gift. Shouldn't we do the same by making that same sacrifice by giving that same gift?
Another way of saying this is, "If you are presenting your offering at the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your offering there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother, and then come and present your offering to God."
You take the responsibility. You take the blame. You offer the unconditional hand of reconciliation.
Having done this, you have "laid you life down" for a brother and now you have laid your life down as a living and holy sacrifice to God!
You can stay in that state of mind by continuing to offer yourself in sacrificial service to God, moment by moment.
Not kidding here. DO IT and you'll see, just as God says,
"Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross." Philippians 2:5-8
Having done this, you are set free.
Now you can go on your way.
Now you can be at peace.
IN HIS NAME
Your Brother and Friend, in His Cause!