Jesus welcomed the people, taught them about the Kingdom of God and healed those in need. Luke 9:11
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Seeds of the Kingdom

How to Buy Peace and Joy

by Grace Bull

And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.

Matthew 6:12, NIV

A few days ago, my husband and I offered to help with a need at church, and the response was unexpectedly lukewarm. The minor issue involved was quickly cleared up, but afterwards I found myself struggling with a huge anger and offence bubbling up inside me, that was wholly out of proportion to the situation.

When I finally sat down to pray about it, I realised that my feelings were so strong because I had felt ignored and undervalued in my childhood. All that stored-up frustration and anger was still inside me. It just needed a situation that reminded me of that feeling, and suddenly the unresolved anger from childhood was swirling around in my heart again.

As I prayed, I knew I needed to forgive - not only the person who had upset me today, but also the people from my childhood.

As I struggled to forgive, today’s verse came to mind, where Jesus says we forgive others their debts. If someone owes me a financial debt, then forgiving that debt means I am writing it off. I understand that what they owe me will never be paid.

In the same way, if we can’t let go of anger, it’s because somewhere deep down inside we are demanding something. Maybe an apology or punishment for the wrongdoer. We want them to pay.

But I knew the people who hurt me in childhood can never apologise to me. For one thing, they are no longer alive. It’s actually what people call a bad debt - one that will never be paid. In that case, the debt is worthless and it is just costing me - my emotional energy and my peace.

So, I decided to cancel the debt and forgive. To my surprise, I was suddenly flooded with joy and peace. I felt as if I was dancing on the inside.

The debt wasn’t actually worthless. It was as if I had used the debt like money, and had ‘bought’ joy and freedom by giving away the debt. When you spend money, you release it and no longer have it. And in its place, you have the thing you bought. In the same way, as I released and forgave those who had hurt me, I gave away my ‘right’ to an apology, just like spending money, but what I got back was more than I could ever have imagined.

If you need some joy and peace today, why not ask God to remind you of someone you need to forgive. Cancel that bad debt and exchange it for peace and freedom. It’s the best deal ever!

Grace Bull is a member of the Ellel Ministries team, working in course development and the support of Ellel centres worldwide, having previously been a full-time GP (family doctor) for 15 years. Her passion is relationship with God and doing anything that will help other people to find that close relationship too.

 

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