Day Three – Balancing the books

Today’s Scriptures: Matthew 18:23; Ecclesiastes 12:14; Romans 14:12; 2 Corinthians 5:10; Hebrews 9:27

Peter’s question about forgiveness inspired Jesus to share a parable showing two extremes of forgiveness. He begins the story with the statement that the king wanted to “settle accounts” with his servants.

Scripture is clear that each of us will give an account of ourselves before God for what we did while on earth, including our motives, our words, and our deeds. The parable in Matthew 18 indicates we will also be held accountable for how generously we show mercy to our offenders. The day of reckoning awaits.

When I was five, I began taking piano lessons and continued to do so until I went to college. During those twelve years of music lessons, I became a practiced procrastinator. My lessons were on Fridays, which gave me Saturday through Thursday to practice my music. But I squandered the time, and every Friday became a day of reckoning as I stood before my very strict instructor. I recall sitting in the lobby of the piano studio each week telling myself, “Next week I’m practicing every single day—until my fingers bleed on the keys. Next Friday my teacher will be so proud of me.” Big dreams for a young girl.

Week after week, year after year I had opportunity to appear guilt-free before my music teacher. Instead I offered lame excuses for why I didn’t use my time wisely. Funny thing—she never reprimanded me for my lazy practice habits. She just nodded, as if to say, “Someday you’ll regret squandering this opportunity.” She was so right.

  • What concerns do you have about giving an account to the Lord?
  • When God balances the books, showing His forgiveness toward you compared to your forgiveness toward others, what will be revealed? How can you begin now to get out of debt?