“Forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors …” We pray these lines from the prayer Jesus taught his followers in worship just about every Sunday. “As we forgive our debtors …” And sometimes, that means money. Yes, money!
I was delighted to hear this week of the commitment of the G8 nations to forgive some $40 billion worth of debt of the eighteen poorest nations in the world. The eighteen include: Benin, Bolivia, Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Ghana, Guyana, Honduras, Madagascar, Mali, Mauritania, Mozambique, Nicaragua, Niger, Rwanda, Senegal, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia.
Yes, some of the debt-forgiveness is conditional, tied to political correctness and tied to compliance with cetain economic standards, but it is still forgiveness! Debt-forgiveness can take a terribly heavy monkey off the back of these nations and allow them the freedom to move forward with social and economic development, not simply to mark time or slide backwards because of crippling payments on accumulated debt.
This is a good act! This is a compassionate! It may be well overdue … but forgiveness is always timely!