One thing I have noticed about human nature is that we have a tendency to keep records of wrongs. I learned this when I was a very young girl. I had a new small Daffy Duck figurine that was given to me by a friend. I was about six years old. I was looking at it carefully beside my brother Scott, who was about sixteen. He asked if he could see it.
Now, my brother was never intentionally reckless with things, but he had by now developed a pretty good reputation for breaking most everything he touched. And so I glanced at my other brother, Glenn, looking for assurances that everything would be okay, before I reluctantly handed over the trinket for my eldest brother to examine. Of course, he had a good look and then, snap! It was so predictable that it was not even funny. He had, of course by accident, snapped Daffy's head right off.
And that was that.
Except it wasn't.
I still remember that offense. It was 41 years ago and I still have a record of that Daffy-disaster. And I don't have a particularly good memory.
We are record keepers by nature. We like to assign value to our accomplishments, our failures, our positions, and our exclusions. Sociologists recognize that this pattern of making sense of our world is a normal process of human development. Jesus recognizes that this pattern can be distracting from our call.
So the parable of the unmerciful servant (Matthew 18:21-35) is given, and with it Jesus makes clear that His Kingdom is ushering in a new economy. In the Kingdom of Heaven the record keepers will be unconcerned with bank balances. Rather in the Kingdom of Heaven the measurement that matters is that of right-relationship. Right-relationship is the new Gold. Right-relationship is the call.
Right-relationship is always built upon the humble acceptance that God has done for us what we could not do for ourselves. And in that posture of humility, we let that reality so affect our hearts, so transform our minds, that we can not help but carry the new economy of love and grace into the world.
“Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another” (Romans 13: 8a)
This post is an excerpt from a recent message given on Sunday July, 2, 2017. To hear the full message, visit here.