HOW DEEP IS YOUR DEBT
One of the good Filipino values that I learned is to consider the debt of gratitude or “pagtanaw ng utang na loob”.
It’s a debt that is very difficult to repay because no price tag is attached to it.
However, at the proper time, it should be returned when it is expected or wanted.
“Utang na loob” or debt of gratitude is a norm of reciprocity, Filipinos are expected by their neighbors to return favors when it was expected and wanted at the proper time.
We Filipinos usually don’t forget the goodwill done to us and reciprocate that favor.
When abused, this becomes a burden and creates stress as the person becomes beholden to his debtors.
The only negative about this practice is when being used for some instances wherein the recipient is put in uncompromising situations.
Some people were instrumental to your success, to your victory. They tendered their support when the time you needed them without asking for any return.
However, in some later stages, they will ask you favor and remind you how they contributed and were helpful in where you are right now.
The common practice is in politics that usually results in graft corruption, illegal transactions, nepotism, and, appointing people that are unqualified of rendering good service to the people.
The Parable of the Two Debtors
The gospel shows us two types of people and how they react to and respond to the goodwill of Jesus in their life.
Jesus highlighted a picture of two characters on how they retort depending on how much favor they received.
Here we see a woman who was a sinner when known that Jesus was reclining at the table in the Pharisee’s house, brought her alabaster vial of perfume and standing behind Him at His feet, weeping, she began to wet His feet with her tears and wiping His feet with her hair.
The other character was Simon, the Pharisee that invited Jesus for a dinner yet never offered water or assigned someone to clean Jesus’ feet.
The deeper Your Debt
The parable states that there are two debtors whom both of them were forgiven as they cannot repay.
The greater the debt, the greater is our love for God.
I wonder who among us can repay His goodness.
But, is our response to His goodwill deeper enough to truly appreciate and reciprocate what He has done for us?
The parable, it reflects that the deeper our debt, the more we should love Jesus.
The woman received much so she loved much.
Her gratitude to Jesus was shown by her care and her action toward Jesus for she doesn’t know how she could repay what Jesus did to her.
If we will remember that this woman might have already been dead when she was caught on the ground of adultery and those people were ready to stone her to death.
Until Jesus came to the rescue and dare each one of those people to throw a stone if they don’t have sinned.
Our Gratitude towards God’s Attitude
All of us experience the same goodness from God day in and day out.
But how do we respond and reciprocate this love, mercy, and goodness of God to us?
The woman’s response shall give us a clear view of how we should respond to God’s goodness to us.
Like the woman, we should always repent of our sins and start to walk to where Jesus is. We need to refuse to sin anymore and seek to be in His presence always.
The woman wets her feet of Jesus and wiped them with her hair as a sign of repentance.
Being sorry for all the wrongdoing we have done in our life, we cry because we feel sad and sorrowful that we hurt the feeling of God when we sinned against Him.
The woman kissed the feet of Jesus as a sign of humility.
A sign of gratefulness is to be humble before our Lord.
The woman brought her expensive vial of perfume to anoint Jesus’ feet means giving up whatever is important to her just to please her new Master.
When we consider gratefulness for God’s goodness and mercy to us, we are willing to give whatever it takes to show our love for God.
We do it without any hesitations or reservations.
We give it fully; we give it freely.
Liberating Goodness of God
In my introduction, “utang na loob” or debt of gratitude is expected to pay back when expected and wanted.
God wanted us to show our debt of gratitude to him but He never forces anyone.
There is no price tag nor string attached to His mercy towards us.
His mercy is liberating because He doesn’t burden us to pay him in return.
It rather liberates us to start a new chapter in our life by doing what is good, just, and right.
He gives us the freedom to choose the path we want to take, yet the experience we have in Him inclined us to decide to respond and reciprocate His love toward us.
Because when we were still a sinner, God loves us with everlasting love.
Jesus said to the woman, “Your sins have been forgiven, your faith has saved you; go in peace”.
The most debt we have causes us stress and trouble.
In fact, many cannot sleep because of their insurmountable debt wondering how they could pay it.
When we committed sin, we feel guilt within that robbed us of our peace of mind and joy.
But Jesus redeemed us and He paid the debt that we cannot afford to pay by giving His life for us.
We are now debt free because we were redeemed in full.
We can now walk in the freedom bestowed on us by God.
God’s love is so deep that He doesn’t keep any record no matter how deep is our debt.
No matter how deep is our debt, Jesus paid it in full so that you will not worry about the credit slip.
May your happiness be full,