I recently listened to a sermon given by Tim Keller that my cousin, Nicole sent my way. It was REALLY great, and I suggest the listen. I probably rewound this part about 30 times, it was REALLY helpful for me to hear.
"No one has lived properly. No one can pass any moral evaluation of any sort.
OK. So many people say;
'Alright, alright I get it, but here is the thing I don't understand.
This this idea of debt, A debt that has to be paid for.
Surely if there is a God, goes the objection, God can just forgive it. God can just forgive, can't he?'
This is the answer.
What I mean is, he just can't forgive the payment.
I beg you to think about this with me for a second, this is very important to understanding this whole thing.
First of all let me ask you psychologically,
If someone really, really wrongs you. REALLY wrongs you What happens?
I would suggest, and I think unavoidably, there is a debt. There is something between you and the person who has seriously wronged you.
And it can't be wished away, it can't be ignored.
It's a debt, and there are only two things you can do with a debt.
The only way to get rid of the barrier on the one hand you can make them pay it down.
In other words, you can hurt them, you can berate them you can find ways of making them suffer, you can exclude them, there are all sorts of things, and as you see them paying it you sense the debt being payed down at a certain point it's gone.
Now, by the way the Bible says if you do it that way, if you make people pay for what they have done it will turn you into a hard person.
It will dehumanize you. But that is not our subject today.
Nevertheless, you can make them pay it,
the other thing you can do, you say, well, why don't you just forgive?
OK. That is the right thing to do, but let me tell you what forgiveness is made of.
To forgive them means;
when I want to hurt them, I don't.
When I want to slice up their reputation, I don't
When I want to just think hateful thoughts, and how have they done these awful things and what awful people they are, I don't!
And if I do that, if I refuse to do that, you will find, as time goes on that your anger subsides and why?
Because YOU are paying the debt down yourself.
YOU ARE PAYING it DOWN.
It is costly, it is difficult, but the fact of the matter, it doesn't go away,there is no way emotionally psychologically when a real wrong is done, it can just be forgiven.
Somebody has to pay the debt. They have to pay it, you have to pay it, SOMEBODY has to pay to pay it or the barrier is there. "
-Tim Keller, The Story of the Lamb