Spend some time on an elementary school playground and you will likely hear some intense negotiations happening. Whether it’s for lunch trades or picking dodgeball teams, young children are intent on striking a balance between what they give and what they receive. It doesn’t take them long to recognize a perceived inequity and most of them will do something to correct it if the slight is to their disadvantage.
It’s a mindset that we often carry with us well pass our days on the playground. “You need to get what’s yours” and “don’t let anyone walk all over you” are common refrains. However, the Christian is called to have a different stance. “Turn the other cheek” and “if someone forces you to go with them one mile go with them two” are to be part of our parlance (See Mt. 5:38-42). Keeping accounts balanced looks much different for us – for the greatest inequity has already been wiped clean; the depth of our debt towards Christ has been settled. We therefore have no need to keep score with others; the one who knows and appreciates true forgiveness of our eternal errors, sees no reason to keep a balance with anyone else.
This is why Scripture reminds us that we are to forgive others in the same manner that Christ forgave us (Col. 3:13; Eph. 4:32). A child of God knows that not only has their greatest debt been erased, but that God has adopted us into His own family. He didn’t just forgive us; He made us His own.
So we are to forgive the debt of others towards us. For there is no greater debt than the one of which we have already been forgiven.