Balancing the Checkbook

I know this is probably not going to be everyone’s thing, but I rather enjoy balancing the checkbook each month. There is a kind of pleasure when it balances the first time. Taking all the checks and deposits, those that are on the statement and those outstanding, accounting for the other charges, etc., and having the bottom line balance brings a degree of satisfaction.

But occasionally the bottom line doesn’t agree. It doesn’t balance. It has to be reconciled. And I have spent much time looking for that difference. Sometimes it is only a few cents but I have to find it. Yeah, I know you are probably thinking that I am pretty twisted. Maybe even OCD. But it does bring me pleasure to find the mistake. Though I’ll have to admit even more pleasure for it to balance the first time and not have to look for that mistake.

I remember when the boys were younger it was a running joke not to go into the kitchen while dad was “doin’ the budget.” Truthfully though it was a responsibility that I did not take lightly. To this day it is a monthly practice and once each year Teresa and I sit down together and plan our next year’s budget. Well, I digress. Today’s thoughts are about balancing or reconciling the checkbook.

In Romans 5:10-11 we find the following. “For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to GOD through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. And not only that, but we also rejoice in GOD through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation.”

The original Greek words translated reconciled and reconciliation (katallage, katallasso) mean the adjustment for a difference. Hence the comparison to adjusting or bringing the checkbook and statement to agreement. Another definition for the two words is to return to favor. Herein lies our spiritual lesson.

Notice the idea of being reconciled to GOD. Because of sin we were estranged from Him. We were enemies of GOD because of sin. We were out of balance and in need of being reconciled, of being returned to favor. And that reconciliation occurred through the death of His Son. How we can rejoice because of that!

In the context of verses 5-11 we find three descriptions of mankind. We were without strength (v5), we were sinners (v8), and we were enemies of GOD (v10). And with each description it is noted that Christ died for us.

Just think about being out of balance with our Creator and Him loving us enough to bring us back to His favor. In the passage we find verse 8, “But GOD demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

Note that GOD made the first move. While we were estranged, in need of reconciliation, He sent His Son in order that we might receive the reconciliation. While we were sinners He made the first move.

I have used James 4:8 as a lesson that says we have to make the first move. The passage reads, “Draw near to GOD and He will draw near to you.” This indicates that if we are not close to GOD, we have to make the first move. If you are not close to GOD anymore, He didn’t move, you did. Thus you have to make the first move. Draw near to Him and He will draw near to you.

BUT had He not originally made the first move by giving His Son, we would have no access to Him.

I thank my GOD for loving me enough to give His Son, to bring me into reconciliation. I’m thankful that my checkbook has been balanced.


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