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Airplane Repo

By Pastor Phillip Howle
web posted October 30, 2013

RELIGION – My sons and I had a great time at the Trenton Flyers candy drop this past Saturday. As I walked around looking at the planes, my mind began to think about one of my new favorite TV shows. A few weeks back I got hooked on “Airplane Repo.” It is supposedly true, but probably worked up stories of men who repossess airplanes for a living. The men track the airplanes and the pilots.They concoct big schemes to get to the planes and then they do quick safety check and take off, usually by the skin of their teeth.

They encounter problems in the air and then land them safely. The repowers work for banks to take back the very expensive airplanes that had been purchased, but not paid for. They are debt collectors who stalk their items, because their payday was contingent on returning it back to the bank. They take seemingly great risks to collect their debts.
You know you and I can live our lives as debt collectors and take great risks as well. You see there are two ways to handle things when we have been wronged and hurt. The first way that most of us respond is the debt collector mentality. We make it our goal to make the person pay for the wrong they have done to us. We think over the hurt and nurse resentment. We set some arbitrary standard whereby until we get a satisfactory apology, or we determine that an adequate penalty has been paid, we reserve the right to keep him in prison, to punish him for what he has done.
Think back to the story of Esau and Jacob. Jacob was a lying manipulative momma’s boy. The big dumb brute, Esau, had his birthright deceptively stolen. Then, by a trick by his mother and brother, Esau was stripped of the rightful expectation of a father’s blessing and a life of prosperity. It was a mess and a high level family dysfunction. The Bible tells us in response that “Esau bore a grudge against Jacob … [and] said to himself, ‘The days of mourning for my father are near; then I will kill my brother Jacob’” (Gen. 27:41). Here was Esau who has been really wronged and messed over, making his life all the more worse by storing up his resentment, biding his time, waiting to exact his revenge.
But when you think about it, who actually ends up paying the higher cost in these kinds of transactions? Who carries most if not all the residual pain left over from the original offense? Beyond that, what about the resentment and anger that invariably accrues to the debt collector, leaving him or her in perpetual bondage to past offenses? Maddening loops of endless analysis and reliving the circumstances in which the now festering wounds were inflicted. It’s all part of the cost of being a debt collector.
But God has given us a better way. It is not always a seemingly easier way, but is by far better. Colossians 3:13 “As the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.”  C.J. Mahaney writes “When I become bitter or unforgiving toward others, I’m assuming that the sins of others are more serious than my sins against God. The cross transforms my perspective. Through the cross I realize that no sin committed against me will ever be as serious as the innumerable sins I’ve committed against God. When we understand how much God has forgiven us, it’s not difficult to forgive others.”(The Cross Centered Life, p. 81)
One more thing as well, Philip Graham Ryken writes that “There is such a big difference between forgiveness and reconciliation. It takes two to reconcile, so it is not always possible to be reconciled. But it takes only one to forgive. So if people do you wrong, forgive them, whether or not they ask for forgiveness. You cannot cancel their sin. Only God can do that, and He will only do it if they repent. But what you can do is set aside your own anger, bitterness, and resentment towards them.”

So here is the deal, are you trying to exact payment for an outstanding debt? What price are you paying for doing so? Why not let it go? Turn your offender over to His courtroom and be set free.
Pastor Phillip 

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