Under no obligation

By Arthur Meintjies

Who is a God like You, who pardons iniquity and passes over the rebellious act of the remnant of His possession? He does not retain His anger forever, because He delights in unchanging love.Micah 7:18 (NASB) 

This is a beautiful verse declaring the character and nature of God—who pardons our iniquity!!


Iniquity is a word that describes our fallen state and is closely connected to the idea of “indebtedness” or to be in debt! 

How many of us know exactly what “in debt” feels like? When you owe money to someone it changes your relationship. You do things you wouldn’t ordinarily do because you feel indebted, and that sense of indebtedness ultimately turns into obligation. And eventually that obligation, if not relieved, will turn to hate.

For example, if Tom wanted to buy a house but could not afford the down payment, his wife’s parents might step up and say, “We’ll loan you the money. No interest. Just pay us back as you can.” It sounds like a good deal, so Tom agrees. They’re family, so no paperwork is drawn up. Tom and his wife buy their house and start enjoying life. 

Soon it’s Easter, and Tom and his wife begin making plans to visit the in-laws. “Oh no,” thinks Tom, “I owe them money, and I can’t pay it. This is going to be awkward.” And even though the parents don’t mention the money, the money Tom owes remains in the back of Tom’s mind. Their relationship is changing.

Before Tom realizes it Thanksgiving is here, and it’s time to see the in-laws again. “We’ve missed you guys,” Mom says opening the door.

“Yeah,” Tom replies, “we’ve just been so busy.”

“Before dinner, would you mind helping me?” Dad asks. And although what Dad wants isn’t too difficult, Tom agrees because indebtedness obligates him to help—thinking that in some way he is paying his debt. But in the back of his mind he is thinking. When are you guys gonna move into a retirement home where you belong? They have people there who get paid to help you.

Unfortunately, this is the same mentality that many people have in their relationship with God, they serve God under a sense of indebtedness and obligation! Feeling that they owe God, and therefore need to do things for Him to pay back some of their debt!

Is there hope for this kind of relationship? Only if the debt is forgiven. Like the old song says, “We owed a debt we could not pay; He paid a debt He did not owe!” Praise God, Jesus has removed the debt of sin between us and God. Today, we can enjoy a debt free relationship with Him without fear, and without obligation. Our debt is forgiven!