Ring…Ring…Ring. You look at your phone. Then keep letting it ring…ring…ring.
You don’t recognize that number but you know it isn’t good news. It is the reminder of a medical or unpaid bill that you aren’t in a position to pay when you hear the phone ring. You ignore the call not ready to deal with the person on the other end but just hearing the ring triggers you to remember something you have left undone, something you aren’t in a position to deal with at this moment, and something that you wish would just go away.
Collection calls are no fun, and if you could change your address, change your phone number, and even change your name you would just to avoid the constant reminder of a debt you have left to be settled. The sound of that ring penetrates your brain and an avoidance you like to pretend isn’t there, but every time the sound of the phone rings it reminds you that you have a bounty on your head. To the person on the phone your life is worth whatever amount is being owed to them.
Being in debt puts chains on us that keep us from moving forward because we are always being reminded and having to carry around the backpack of things left behind from yesterday into today. It’s a weight that if it isn’t dealt with will keep piling up until the bag is too heavy to carry.
Collection calls happen when you are going through a difficult financial situation, a hopeful temporary transition period in your life where you hope to get back on track from. After you reach the point of having the resources to pay the bill in full there is a freedom you have after finally being able to answer the phone when that number pops up on your screen. When you pay the amount in full and get to break up with that relationship with the collection agency.
The calls are over, the debt is done, now let’s move on with our life.
The phone rings again, and again, and it never seems to stop.
What is happening?
There are collection calls ringing in your head all day long. The attack of the enemy with constant reminders of the debt you owe, the sins you’ve committed, and the life sentence you are supposed to be paying. A phone that rings when you are experiencing joy that wants you to pick up the other line to remind you that you aren’t deserving of joy in your sinful nature. A phone that rings to remind you of that person you hurt that you aren’t allowed freedom from. Or the phone that rings to remind you of a playback decision you once made and aren’t proud of.
Like a football coach replaying yesterday’s game reminding you what you did wrong. God’s focus is to coach us into a better game tomorrow. The collection call voices in your head want you to get stuck in placing your identity in yesterday’s failures.
What’s the cure? I don’t ever seem to have the money in my account to pay off these collection calls when they ring in my head. I don’t ever seem to get that freedom moment when it is paid off and then the phone stops ringing.
Truth is that these collection calls are different. They are sneaky, they are conniving, they are deceitful. They ring to remind you of debts that have already been paid they just want to keep you feeling undeserving of freedom. A freedom that is granted to you because the debt has been paid in full with the assurance of Jesus who was there when he paid them (Amen to that).
The phone won’t ever stop ringing, what we need to do is answer the call and shut up the voice on the other end. Show them the receipt of the scars where the nails were placed to pay the debt off on your behalf. Where Christ proclaimed your value, and defeated death and won us the victory of freedom.
And when they call tomorrow, do it again, and again, and again. Until the voices get softer the more you realize how free you are!
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