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  • Writer's pictureGrant Fraley

Release the debt in your heart

Romans 13:8

Owe no one anything except to love one another, for he who loves another has fulfilled the law.


Whenever we refuse or struggle to forgive someone, it’s because in our heart we view the debt they owe us as having not been fulfilled or satisfied. In other words, we feel they still owe us something—whether it be an apology, our innocence, years of life, or something physical that was taken from us. Or maybe you haven’t forgiven yourself because you believe you owe someone something after a failure.


This verse in Romans is often used to teach against financial debt. I’m okay with that application, but I want to look at it from another angle. What if this verse became an anchor in your heart concerning how you deal with others and yourself? There isn’t any emotional debt Jesus hasn’t paid for. Every individual experienced a supernatural debt cancellation through Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection. This means you owe no one anything, nor do they owe you anything. The debts have been paid in full. Until you receive that truth in your heart, the cycle of pain in your soul will continue to hinder you.


One of Jesus’ specialties in ministry is healing the broken-hearted (see Luke 4:18). Healing isn’t just for the physical body. It’s also for your heart and soul. However, God will not force healing on you. There are decisions and intentions to be made. Will you reconcile in your heart that every debt you owe, every debt someone else owes you has been paid in full by the work of Jesus? The only thing you owe anyone is to love them. When there is a debt owed between two parties, love can’t grow and flourish—it can only go as far as the debt has been paid. When the debt is released—so is love into the situation. Reconciliation isn’t always possible, but love is through the grace of God working in your heart.


Look at this principle given under the Old Covenant:


Deuteronomy 15:1-2

"At the end of every seven years you shall grant a release of debts. [2] And this is the form of the release: Every creditor who has lent anything to his neighbor shall release it; he shall not require it of his neighbor or his brother, because it is called the LORD's release.


Every seven years, God commanded the Israelites to release the debts others owed them. I love how the NKJV uses the word “release”. This is one of the most powerful definitions and images of the word forgive. What was God doing here? What was the purpose of releasing debts every seven years? Jesus referred to finances as the LEAST thing in the Kingdom of God (see Luke 16:10-11). He said if you don’t find yourself faithful in the least then how can you hope to be faithful in that which is greater. Here’s how this applies with forgiveness: how can you believe to forgive someone for the greater offenses if you can’t forgive them for the financial, tangible debt they owe you?


Therefore, every seven years, God was activating the hearts of the people and teaching them how to forgive. What’s the lesson for us? Begin to practice living a lifestyle for forgiveness. Begin to release the unseen debts you believe people owe you. Begin to practice debt cancellation in your heart. Maybe you need to begin with that which is least—send it away, release it, and allow God to heal your heart. Once that’s settled, move on to the next debt. Do this until your heart is free of every burden that weights it down.


Your heart needs to be free for the glorious places God wants to take you. Begin to release the debt in your heart and love God, people, and yourself! 


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