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Lillian Daniel: We All Have Debts

October 03, 2014

"Give us this day our daily bread." - Matthew 6:11 

When Jesus teaches the disciples how to pray, he says,  "Go Ahead. Ask God for your daily bread." 

He does not say, "Go Ahead. Ask God for your entire inheritance."

Ask God for what you need for this day, something modest just to live. Ask for your daily bread. Then, while you two are talking, why not also ask God to forgive your debts?

You know what your debts are. Everybody has debts. Everybody owes somebody something. Everybody has wronged somebody. Everybody has received something they did not deserve. I don't care how hard you worked in school to get your high school degree or even a PhD. You don't get to claim all the credit. Guess what? You didn't choose to be born into a family that thought education was a good idea. You didn't choose to be born in a country that provides education.

Before being born, you weren't hiding out up in heaven saying, "Let me decide where to deposit my brilliant self. I'm going to do an analysis of all the nations in the world and make a wise decision that will contribute to my future success." You didn't choose the many little ways in which you lucked out. Everybody owes somebody something.

And yet we get to ask God to forgive our debts. We get to say thank you. We get to be grateful. We get to be humble. 

Dear God, deliver me from the temptation of taking all the credit. Forgive my debts. Amen.


From UCC's StillSpeaking devotionals. Visit

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