Sunday, October 10, 2010
I was walking up to the bank and I held the door open for a nervous looking middle aged man. Our eyes met as he thanked me for holding the door and I could tell that there was a story behind those dark brown eyes. The wrinkles on his face revealed the stress he had been threw since loosing his job. I watched from the long line as he walked to a row of seats positioned in the center of the lobby. The man kept bouncing his knee and wiping sweat from his forehead, despite the obvious cold front that has caused people to pull out their "winter clothes" here in Central Florida.
I watched as the loan officer motioned him over into his office close to where I was standing in line and the man slowly walked through door and into the office. I couldn't help but keep an eye on the situation because the man was obviously going through something intense.
I overheard him talking about how he owed $250,000 on his mortgage and he and his wife had both lost their jobs due to the downfall of the economy. I heard him talk about how he had been looking for a job, any job, for the past few months but couldn't find anything. The loan officer sat listening as the man told the story with tears running down his face. He felt like a failure and that he had let his family down. He was disappointed himself and knew his family would be disappointed to move out of the house they had moved in to two years ago.
The loan officer looked at him and said "Your debt is forgiven." The man laughed and said he had no money to pay even one month let alone the principle. The loan officer looked the man in the eye and said "I'm forgiving your debt."
The man was blown away by the generosity of the loan officer to forgive his debt when he couldn't pay it back. He was walking down the road and saw one of his friends that he had loaned $10 to pay for a few groceries a couple weeks ago. He walked up to him and said "Hey, I know you got paid yesterday and I need my $10...NOW!" He demanded the $10 from the friend, but the friend couldn't pay it back. The man saw a police officer walking by and grabbed him and pointed to his friend and said he was a thief for not paying him his $10 back. The officer had the friend thrown in jail for not paying back the $10.
This story is straight out of Matthew 18 and it illustrates what we do when we don't forgive. God sent His Son to earth to die for us so that our sin would be forgiven. We had a debt we couldn't pay. He paid it for us, but we refuse to forgive those around us. We hold grudges and exchange dirty looks because someone stole a tater tot off our tray in 4th grade.
If God cared enough about us to send His Son to die to forgive our sins...shouldn't we learn to forgive others?