I’ll never forget the feeling when I looked back in my rear-view mirror and saw the flashing lights. The Texas State Trooper had seen my out of date inspection sticker and I knew I was in for it. So, I pulled over, and in his own special way, he gave me the ticket. He told me to call the Justice of the Peace in about a week to pay my fine, which I was less than enthusiastic to pay. So, being the upstanding citizen that I am, I called the small city’s Justice of the Peace.
“Yes, my name is Steven Beyer, and I’m calling to see what I need to do to pay a ticket I received last week.”
She replied, “Okay, I’m looking here in my system, but I don’t see your name. Would you mind spelling it out for me?”
Puzzled, I said, “Sure! S-T-E-V-E-N B-E-Y-E-R. Anything?”
“Well, it looks like something WAS here, but it looks like your record is now clear. You don’t have to pay anything. There is nothing on your record.”
Confused, I hung up the phone and let out a sigh of relief.
Salvation is an amazing thing. We once were lost, and now we’re found. We owed a debt that we couldn’t pay, and Jesus paid it all. We had a record that was full of sin and mistakes, but now it’s clear.
So, we LOVE it when OUR record is clear. But have you ever stopped to think about what records YOU are keeping on people? Do you feel like someone owes YOU?
Maybe you didn’t have much love in the home growing up. You felt like your dad didn’t give you the attention or affirmation that you needed. So you’ve carried around an anger towards him. He owes you.
Or maybe it was a friend, who, all of the sudden, did something to betray your confidence. You feel violated and feel like they owe you respect and an apology. But it never comes. You become angry and carry around the ledger of what she owes you.
Jesus, however, makes it very clear that because OUR record has been made clear because of His blood, we must clear the records of those that we feel owe us. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that when Jesus talks about forgiveness, he talks about forgiving debts that are owed. In fact, in Matthew 18, Jesus tells the parable of the unmerciful servant. In a convicting finish, the master asks the unmerciful servant a haunting question, “‘I canceled 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)
Clearing the record isn’t easy. When we feel like someone owes us for something they did, it’s difficult for us to let it go. The process can take some time to complete. So, don’t be discouraged, Jesus can fully heal you as he “binds up the brokenhearted.” (Isa. 61:1)
When you feel those angry feelings coming back, just say to yourself, “They don’t owe me anything. The record is clear.” And watch as those feelings of anger and resentment dissipate.
We weren’t meant to carry around a ledger. Since we’ve been forgiven, and our debt has been paid, we are no longer allowed to carry it around. Ask Jesus and He WILL help you with it. After all, He cleared OUR record. He already knows how to do it.