Q: One of my close friends owes me a big check. It’s been two years, and she still hasn’t paid me back. I don’t want to sin by being angry, and I don’t want an argument — if it were a small amount of money, I would just forgive her, but it’s a large amount that I just can’t forget about. Pastor, what should I do?

Denise’s AnswerI can’t tell you what to do, but if it’s already been two years, I would say you shouldn’t lose any sleep over this. Forgive this girl and sow this money. Let it go. Matthew 18 is an entire chapter on forgiveness in which Jesus compares forgiveness to debt. 

The servant in Matthew 18 owed his master a lot of money. The servant came to his master and said, “ Have mercy on me! Please release me from my debt!” And the master forgave his debt of thousands and thousands of dollars. But after he was forgiven, a fellow servant owed him a very small amount of money. The fellow servant said, “Please have mercy on me! I can’t pay you.” The first servant put his hands around the fellow servant’s neck and said, “Pay me what you owe me!” in response. When he still couldn’t pay, he had his fellow servant thrown in prison! Do you know what the master said? He said, “I forgave you of so much. You asked me to forgive you, and I forgave you. Now your fellow servant, who owes you very little money, can’t pay you, and you put him in prison? Shouldn’t you forgive him because I forgave you?” I encourage you to read the entire chapter for a look at the full story. 

When you forgive a debt, it’s like you’re giving it to the Lord. Say, “Lord, that person did me wrong. But I forgive her!That’s giving it to the Lord! The Bible says what we give, He gives us back more. The Lord knows how difficult it is for us to five, but when we do, we are free! Great blessings are in store!

I know this is a very personal situation, but you don’t need to hang on to it any longer! Forgive your friend!

Irina’s AnswerOne day, I was talking to a very good friend of mine about whether we need to forgive people’s debt or ask them to return the money, and she gave me some amazing advice — advice that I still use to this day! She said, “You know when people ask me to give them money, I ask myself if it’s going to be a burden for me if they never return it. And if I come to the conclusion that because of the amount, what they’re asking will be a burden, it doesn’t matter how close I am with that person or how much they’ve asked me, I will say no because I don’t want to lose that person as a friend. 

If I give, I’m making a decision not to ask for that amount of money to be returned. It doesn’t matter whether they will pay me back or not. And in your case, you already gave that money, but trust me, life is going to be so much better and lighter if you decide that it’s okay if you never see that money again, and if they do return it, it’s a nice bonus! Say to the devil, Everything you have stolen from me will be given back seven times more! Ask God for His blessing and tell Him with an open heart how you really feel about this situation. I sincerely hope we helped you let it go and trust in the Lord to return to you seven times more than what the devil has stolen!