When I was a child, mom would send us up to the local grocery to pick up a gallon of milk or a loaf of bread. The store was about two blocks away in city terms, but we didn’t live in the city.
When we got to the store, we would pick up the needed item or items and ask the owner to put it on Daddy’s tab. She would pull out a small notebook and carefully write the date and the items and the amount in it, and we would carry the supplies back home.
On payday, Daddy would stop at the store and pay off the account. Always. The account method was a service that the store owners provided to the families in the neighborhood.
We were taught early to honor that service. Pay your debts. Don’t let the amount ride, or the payback will be too hard. Keep short accounts.
Keeping short accounts applies to a lot of areas in my life.
Like anger and grudges.
Throughout each day, feelings and thoughts and poor choices and hurt can build up as I rub against the demands of the people around me and the world in general. These fill up the ledger in my heart, and they demand payment.
(When my heart ledger is full of debts, it shows in my emotions, my physical and mental state, and my quality of life. It allows Satan to hold on to a piece or more of my heart. Just saying.)
I have a choice. I can let them sit there, the account growing longer and taking up more heart space, becoming a slave to the debt. Or I can settle the account.
How do I do that?
Well, just like Daddy always paid the tab at the store, our Father has provided payment for my sin through His Son, Jesus Christ. He calls me to give the account to Him, to repent of where I have been wrong, to acknowledge my shortcomings and my needs.
I John 1:9 gives me His promise. “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
There is great freedom and power in daily coming before God in confession of my need of His grace. There is great joy in receiving His grace.
Short accounts. Daddy was right. It is a good way to live – financially, emotionally, and spiritually.
Ephesians 4: 26 Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: 27 Neither give place to the devil.