Credit Rating



Wake up, sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you. 

Jesus, I belong to you.

I lift up my heart to you.
I set my mind on you.
I fix my eyes on you.
I offer my body to you as a living sacrifice.

Jesus, we belong to you. 

Praying in the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit, amen. 

Matthew 6:14–15

“For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.”


In the North American culture, debt is a common state of life. We accumulate debt when we buy a house, finance a car, or take out a credit card. Being a debtor is even encouraged as a way to establish a credit rating, but in the world of God’s kingdom, being a debtor doesn’t require us to pay it back, but to pay it forward. On Good Friday we see Jesus wipe away our sins’ eternal consequences and through His grace we experience restoration.

In the early days of His ministry, Jesus taught about prayer in His famous Sermon on the Mount. This is where we learn the Lord’s Prayer which many of us recite every week. In the prayer, we ask the Lord to forgive us as we forgive those who have hurt us. Jesus knows that our sin creates a debt that we cannot repay so He has chosen to become the payment for our sin. In response to the payment we’ve received, we are expected to pay it forward by forgiving others. Our surrender of forgiveness becomes the proof of our salvation.

It may seem odd to connect forgiveness with pain. Shouldn’t it feel good to forgive? Maybe it should, but it often feels like a sacrifice. We numb the pain of an emotional or physical injury by withholding our forgiveness instead of offering it to God. Jesus tells us to flip the script. Don’t hold back but be willing to pay extra.

We know the disciples struggled with forgiveness like many of us do. In the Gospel of Luke, Jesus tells them that their forgiveness credit should have no limits. “‘So watch yourselves. If your brother or sister sins against you, rebuke them; and if they repent, forgive them. Even if they sin against you seven times in a day and seven times come back to you saying “I repent” you must forgive them.’ The apostles said to the Lord, ‘Increase our faith!’” (Luke 17:3–5). I’m pretty sure my response would have been the same as the disciples—increase my faith because I cannot forgive that many times out of my own strength.

The Greek word for forgiveness in our Matthew passage (aphiemi) means to let go or send away. Don’t let the pain of someone else’s sin settle on you as a burden you have to carry but send it away to the Lord who teaches us that there is no limit to forgiveness. Let’s consider it a privilege to pay forgiveness forward. There is a saying that “hurt people, hurt people,” so let us be an example that forgiven people, forgive people.

Envision the shape of the cross. It has two beams, one vertical and the other horizontal. If there is just the vertical beam, it’s not a cross, it’s a post. And if there is just the horizontal beam, it just lies on the ground. The cross asks us to attend to both the vertical relationship we have with the triune God and the relationship we have with others.

There is no greater example of love than what we see on Good Friday. After being arrested, Jesus is brutally beaten. He’s given an opportunity to fight for His life, but instead, He chooses to follow God’s plan for salvation by becoming the sacrificial lamb that takes on the sin of the world so the world can receive restoration. May we follow the example of Christ with the words He spoke on the cross, “Father, forgive them” (Luke 23:34).


Merciful God, thank You for the forgiveness that You have lavished on us over and over again. When we feel tempted to withhold our forgiveness, remind us that we can pay it forward through the power of the Holy Spirit. Amen.


When have you experienced Jesus’s forgiveness in your own life? What emotions have you felt when you have forgiven someone? Was it painful? Was it freeing?

For the Awakening,
Susan Kent 

Subscribe to get this in your inbox daily and please share this link with friends.

Share today's Wake-Up Call!


WHAT IS THIS? Wake-Up Call is a daily encouragement to shake off the slumber of our busy lives and turn our eyes toward Jesus. Each morning our community gathers around a Scripture, a reflection, a prayer, and a few short questions, inviting us to reorient our lives around the love of Jesus that transforms our hearts, homes, churches, and cities.

Comments and Discussion

2 Responses

  1. I’ve personally seen the result of harboring a grudge by a believer that I once worked with. This man could not, or rather, would not let go of a perceived injustice done to him by another individual. You could the effects that this scenario caused in his life. He was bitter, miserable, and obsessed with trying to seek revenge. The irony of this was that the person that he held the grudge against seemed not to be bothered by it at all. I did my best to share Jesus’s warning about failing to forgive, and it’s consequences, but to no avail. It’s truly sad, that any believer would pass up the peace available through Christ Jesus by giving these hurts over to God.

  2. Is Your Sin Crossed Out?

    Jesus paid the price to Cross out our sin so that we can cross the vast expanse between us and God and live every day in intimate heart-to-heart connection with Him as we let the Spirit lead us moment-by-moment and freely flow from within us as rivers of love, joy, peace and the rest of the fruit of the Spirit.

    “May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *