“I will pay back four times the amount.” Lk 19:8 NIV
Zacchaeus had a bad reputation; as a tax collector he got rich by bilking people. And the fact that Jesus spent the night at his house shocked the religious community. We’re not privy to what Jesus told Zacchaeus that night, but it caused him to respond, “Lord! Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount.” Jesus answered, “Today salvation has come to this house” (v. 9 NIV). There’s an important lesson here about becoming whole. The basis of true emotional healing rests on your willingness to forgive, and when possible, make amends to those you’ve hurt. If you owe someone a debt, you must try to pay it. If you’ve wounded them, you must apologize and try to restore the relationship. Jesus said: “This is how I want you to conduct yourself in these matters. If you enter your place of worship and, about to make an offering, you suddenly remember a grudge a friend has against you, abandon your offering, leave immediately, go to this friend and make things right. Then and only then, come back and work things out with God. Or say you’re out on the street and an old enemy accosts you. Don’t lose a minute. Make the first move; make things right with him” (Mt 5:23-25 TM). So, who do you need to make things right with today? Pray for grace—then go take care of it. When you do God will bless you, and you’ll feel better about yourself too!