Sunday, July 29, 2012

And Forgive Us Our Debts

Can you stand another post about No Buy July
Well, you're getting one anyway.
 Look on the bright side, the month will be over in three days

You see, I've been giving a lot of thought to this little problem of mine and the actions which got me into trouble to begin with. Frankly, it doesn't make a lot of sense, does it?  If you've read here for any length of time, you might know that I'm a notorious cheapskate and tightwad.

I hoard and reuse. I shop the thrift stores and The Dollar Tree. I'm all about the DIY. What's more, I'm willing to patiently  wait until we have the cold cash to complete a project. We're just not credit card or buy-it-on-time people.  Why, you might even say that I... ahem... pride myself on my thriftiness.

By all rights, I should never have whittled down a checking account due to reckless spending.

And yet, I did.

While my recklessness didn't put me into debt, it did put a dent in the pocket book and threatened to rain on my creative parade. It also made me give some thought to the concept of indebtedness.

A few years ago, I was teaching that familiar passage we like to call The Lord's Prayer, and we got to one of those sticky parts.

And forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors.  
(Matthew 5:12)

That's the way it's written in Matthew anyway. He calls it a debt, using a Greek word which means exactly that: A debt; that which is owed; from the idea of accruing.

Or as I like to say, what we've racked up.

If you read the parallel passage in Luke 11:14, however, he uses a different word. He uses a word that we  Baptists like to translate trespass.  That's a fancy way of saying sin.  Not a big old notorious sin, mind you. It means to miss the mark; to wander from the path.  

And forgive us our trespasses...

(There's the million dollar answer for all those who wonder at the denominational difference in Lord's Prayer. Which version is correct? Well, both, but I digress...)

It's simple, really. A trespass is a debt.  

Every time we miss that mark and wander from that path, we are indebted to an almighty God who paid the price for that little misstep of ours with the life of his one and only son. Whether we take a little side trip to Gossip Town or a flying leap down the road to Perdition, the cost was the same.  

When put in that perspective, those little debts aren't so little are they? 

So what does this all have to do with No Buy July? 

Well as I said, I pride myself on my thriftiness.  I can easily resist the thousand dollar purchase. I can almost as easily resist the hundred dollar one.  The fifty dollar one is a bit harder, but I regularly walk away.   

It was the one dollar purchases that did me in.  

And such is the way with the walk of faith.

You see, there's no such thing as sin thrift. We can't budget sins or save for the big ones. With sin, it's all or nothing. We can't pride ourselves in resisting the million dollar ones while frittering away His grace one dollar sin at a time. 

Or maybe, I should put it this way:   We don't need to bring a machine gun to a midnight movie to cost the life of Jesus, the one and only.  All it takes is one haughty look...

One careless word...
One jealous heart...  

Don't you think that maybe, just maybe,  it's time we started sweating the small stuff?  
Yeah, I think so too.  

Jesus paid it all.
All to Him I owe. 
Sin had left a crimson stain.
He washed it white as snow, 

Comments are off for Sunday



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