I enjoy the comics, not only because they allow me to have a chuckle in the midst of an evil and frightening world, but because they often suggest profound thoughts. A “Frank and Ernest” cartoon (9/8/2017) has Ernest speaking to Frank as a loan officer, telling him, “In order to invest in my future, I need to refinance my past.”
It is often prudent to refinance a loan, getting a better interest rate or a more affordable payment. There is usually a cost, but that cost is offset by future savings (if the borrower is acting wisely).
Your future is affected by your past, not only in terms of finances, but in terms of how your life has been invested. Whether you have used your time wisely, been diligent in pursuing an education, or lived above the norms of the world have a tremendous impact. Mistakes of the past, even long past, have a tendency to hurt us when we least expect it, like the “Marlboro Man” who quit many years ago but then faced cancer, or the crisis we face today because we did not plan for the “rainy day.”
When it comes to spiritual matters, even the best of us need to have our past refinanced so that we can have a future. From the time Adam and Eve chose to rebel against God, each of us has followed the same path. “As by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned” (Romans 5:12). “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). And that sin has a significant cost: “For the wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23a). In fact, the cost was so high, that the only remedy for this great sin debt was “the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot” (1 Peter 1:19).
In the financial world, it is possible to dig such a serious hole of debt that no refinancing is possible. All that is left is to declare bankruptcy. That is where we find ourselves concerning our sins. We are bankrupt without Christ. Paul acknowledged his bankrupt state: “This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.” But Christ saved him, and gave him a future. “Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might show forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting” (1 Timothy 1:15-16). We have followed Paul’s pattern in sin, and we can follow his pattern in obeying the Lord to receive his gracious promise for our future!