Forgiveness Says – You Don’t Owe Me

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Today is Pardon Day.

It’s the anniversary of the day President Gerald Ford pardoned former President Richard Nixon for any crimes he may have committed while in office. Ford later explained he wanted to end the national divisions created by the Watergate Scandal.

I started thinking about current “national divisions.” If you watch the news division seems to be emphasized. Division based on race, gender, religion, economics, and politics name some global issues. Add divisions in families and friendships…

This seems like a good week to talk about forgiveness.


What came to mind?

It might be better asked. Who came to mind?

A specific person? A situation?

Did you cringe or feel guilty? Angry? Frustrated? Hurt?

Why is it so hard to forgive?

I’m going to use the following definition for the word forgiveness.

Forgivenessto stop feeling resentment and to relieve of payment for an offense or debt.

Andy Stanley says it this way, “You don’t owe me.” 

Whether you ask for forgiveness or not.

Whether you make amends or not.

Whether the relationship is healed or not.

Whether ____________ or not.

You don’t owe me.

Friend, Stop listen.

Your Father says, “You don’t owe Me. My Son paid your debt. I forgive you.”

Do you have trouble forgiving yourself?

Your Father says, “I forgive you. I love you. Trust Me.”

“Therefore, my friends, I want you to know that through Jesus the forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you. Through him everyone who believes is set free from every sin. Acts 13:38–39

Do you have trouble forgiving those who have hurt, betrayed, rejected, or _________?

Jesus said:

“Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful. Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.” Luke 6:36–37

This week we will look at forgiveness and how it impacts our mental, emotional, and spiritual health, and our relationships.

For today, let’s thank God for His forgiveness and ask Him to turn our hearts and minds toward His truth.

Father, thank you for Your love and forgiveness. Perfect love. Complete forgiveness. Father, forgive us for looking anywhere else for those things You offer completely and divinely. In and with Your love and forgiveness we have all that we need. Thank you for telling us that through Jesus, we don’t owe You. We praise You and give You glory. We love You. Guide us and fill us with Your truth. Amen.

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  1. Hi Deb
    Forgiveness and Love, one we crave, the other we expect. but we should be giving both in abundance! great post
    God bless

    1. You’re right Tracy, and both are gifts. Once we have received them we want to give them. Thanks for adding a great point.

  2. I love this reminder! Often we forgive, but with strings attached. May we all forgive in the same way we have been forgiven!

  3. I remember when I first heard and practiced forgiveness as releasing someone from debt – saying in prayer, “You don’t owe me.” Wow. That was truly a powerful paradigm shift for me. Thank you for this much needed reminder, Deb.

    1. Thank you for visiting and saying “hi,” Amber. It is freeing to know forgiveness doesn’t erase or excuse the wrong. It doesn’t deny that it hurt. It simply says, “The debt is paid. I’ve given it to Jesus.” Blessings to you!