“Does he feel that indeed he has a debt to pay off, or is he just feeling selfishly sorry? If he sincerely feels that he has a debt to pay off, he will not pay. But when he does not acknowledge his debt, God provides for him to pay. A Christian, for example, has an obligation to offer works of mercy. If someone is hard-hearted and doesn’t give to charity, but rather hoards his money, thieves will come who’ll beat him up and take his money; this is how he will fulfil his debt to the spiritual laws. It’s a very bad sign to not pay for these debts in this life; it indicates abandonment by God. And again, when someone does not receive disciplinary smacks but rather blessings, then this indicates that he has done something good and for that, he is being rewarded here by Christ twice and thrice over. However, he is not paying off any debts for his mistakes and sins, and this, again, is a bad sign. Let’s say that I have accomplished ten percent of charitable deeds and Christ rewards me for twenty percent, and I have no sorrows or worries – then, I do not pay off any debt derived from my sins.  Saint Isaac the Syrian says that suffering in this life consumes hell.  That is to say, when the spiritual laws are in effect for someone’s life, a portion of his suffering in hell is removed.”

– ‘Family Life’