No, this is not a blog post about money. But some of the same principles will apply.
There are two sides to the coin of debt (pun intended). One side is the debtor, where we owe someone something. The other side is the creditor; the one who is due payment. There is much conversation, as well as sermonation, on the perils of being a debtor. Owing someone can make us a slave to that person or entity. However, there seems to be less discussion around being a creditor, even though it can be equally as treacherous. It can, perhaps, be even more detrimental to our well-being when we become a relational creditor.
Being a relational creditor means we are holding onto a belief, position or entitlement that someone owes us something. It could be our abuser or violator who owes us our dignity and security. It could be parents whom we believe owe us a different type of relationship that makes up for shortcomings in our upbringing. It could be the bully who owes us power. Or our spouses who owe us love or respect. Or we may even believe God owes us; happiness, wealth, success, marital fidelity, etc. Unfortunately, when we as relational creditors hold people to the debt they “owe” us, we end up locked in a cell full of disappointment and unmet expectations. That disappointment and discouragement can lead to wanting to medicate.
The bible has a thing or two to say about being a creditor. Even some of the same language is used. God says we should let people off the hook for the debt they owe us; He uses the word forgiveness. The word Greek word FORGIVE (aphiēmi) used in the Lord’s Prayer is in fact rooted in this very meaning: to let go, to give up a debt.
Perpetually being entitled to repayment, followed by disappointment and discouragement when it doesn’t happen, can be a primary driver in acting out behavior. Maybe we need to do some forgiveness work and let some folks off the hook. Biblically, we’re called to be debt free; for our own good.