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My wife is forever writing out IOUs to the kids, to pay them back, for money borrowed from them, to pay for their school fundraisers. For all our cashlessness as a society, it’s amazing how often you can only pay for things in cash, and how often such payments all seem to fall due on the same day.

I’m not sure how many IOU’s I’ve issued in my life. I think I’ve honoured them all. But I know that there was one that I didn’t initially know about, but once understood, realised that I had no chance whatever of settling. The Good Book speaks about it in Colossians, second chapter, fourteenth verse. The verse says that what we owed God, in terms of the debt incurred for our law-breaking, was paid for by someone else. In fact it was nailed to his Cross, and the account settled completely.

Wish the Bible translators had made it a bit clearer. Some of them suggest that the Law got nailed to the Cross, instead of our legal indebtedness to it, and conclude that the Law is now redundant. (As if paying your speeding ticket somehow shelves the entire Traffic Code!). The word in question is used only once in the Bible, and exactly translates as a hand-written note, and exactly means an IOU. The verse means that the Law of God stands, but our legal indebtedness to it is satisfied, as well as its power to condemn us. It doesn’t mean that I’m now free to do my own thing, but it does mean that I’m free from the Debt Recovery Unit. And that’s pretty good news actually.

DM 26th June 2013


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