Throughout my four years of college, I took out student loans to pay for school. It made me a little bit uncomfortable to not pay for it myself, but nowadays, it’s the norm for students to borrow money to pay for college. It wasn’t a significant amount of money, which is funny that I feel like I need to qualify that.
In the past year, I’ve worked a second job to pay off the debt faster. The fact that I owe someone money makes me very uncomfortable. I long to be debt free. I am indebted to the people who loaned me the money. I’m even more bothered by the government’s loan forgiveness plan that President Obama announced earlier this year. It upsets me that people’s debt will just be forgiven; gone away.
Putting aside the fact that loan debt does not just go away, ask me, I was an economic major for a hot second (one of four majors during my college career), this anger towards debt forgiveness says something about my views of grace. I don’t think that I should be left off the hook, nor do I think that others should be left off the hook. It just seems too easy. Too simple. I actually want to work hard to pay it back. I want to prove that I am responsible, that I could be trusted, that I was enough. The only thing that separates me from the self-righteous Pharisees is that I’ve realized that I can’t work myself to righteousness. The good that I’ve done will never outweigh my sin.
My sin created a debt that I cannot repay on my own. I cannot work overtime to make up for it. I cannot add on good works and extra church attendance. Thankfully, God made a provision for my sin. He created a way for my debt to be paid off. Jesus. He lived the perfect, sinless life that I was unable to live myself. He paid off my debt. No debt repayment plan, no loan forgiveness, it’s just gone. It’s gone for me and it’s gone for you, if you’ve repented and given your life to Christ.
Giving my life to Christ rocked my world because grace makes me uncomfortable; it works in contrast to my moralistic heart that longs to keep score. But, it has also freed me to know that I can’t get there on my own. There was a debt that I could not pay and Christ stepped in to foot the bill. The only thing He asks in return is a relationship with me. Through a relationship with Him, I’m learning how much easier I’m willing to extend grace to others. I don’t want to keep score as much, nor am I concerned with the debt of others. Come let us rejoice together for we can live debt free!