Forgiveness

Micah 7:18-19, “Who is a God like you, who pardons sin and forgives the transgression  of the remnant of his inheritance? You do not stay angry forever but delight to show mercy. You will again have compassion on us; you will tread our sins underfoot  and hurl all our iniquities into the depths of the sea.”

Forgiveness is without a doubt one of the toughest aspects of Christianity; and yet, it is one of the most important aspects of it. We often hear the phrase, “Forgive and Forget;” but, the reality is, while we may “forgive” it is next to impossible to “forget.” Forgiveness gives us the freedom to no longer be controlled by the actions of others. The pain, bitterness, and anger no longer infiltrates our hearts and minds daily. We are given relief from it through forgiveness. Some of us have sin in our lives, and we need to discuss it with God. We walk around as if no one will catch us or God won’t see it.

When I was a boy, I wrote a letter against one of my teachers to a buddy of mine. I drew a picture of her with horns and a tail with a red cape and pitchfork in hand. The character of my drawing was standing at a chalk board and there were students in desks around her. Fire came from her mouth with the bubbled words, “I snack on little kids like you!” My buddy passed it around the room and of course, she confiscated it and tucked it away in her desk drawer. I didn’t like her because she gave a lot of homework and taught a subject I didn’t enjoy.

All through class, I thought about my parents. Any moment my mom and dad would walk through the doors, and I’d be in hot water. The end of the day came – nothing. I went home – nothing. I came to school – nothing. I went home – nothing. My mind couldn’t grasp it. What was going to happen? When would the blade of the guillotine fall? By the end of the week, I could not stand it any longer. I waited while all the other kids went to recess and approached her desk.

“Yes Michael, is everything ok?” she asked, her eyes glaring above the rim of her glasses.

“Yes, Ma’am. I mean no Ma’am; I mean, about that letter… I’m really sorry,” I managed to mutter.

She simply stared at me. My palms began to sweat. I felt my brow bead-up with perspiration.

There was a large jar behind her. I never knew what it was or why she kept it behind her desk. It was half-full of tiny pieces of paper. She turned in her chair and lifted the glass jar to her desk.

“Do you know what this is?” she asked.

I shook my head.

“It’s my forgiveness jar. When I need to forgive, I write it on a piece of paper, talked to God about it, tear it into shreds and put it in here.”

She opened her desk drawer; tore the letter into a hundred pieces; opened the lid of the jar; and raked the paper in the jar.

My eyes swelled up with tears. I didn’t know what to say.

“I think your classmates are waiting for you on the playground and I have papers to grade.”

And that was the best lesson any teacher ever taught me.

God is waiting. He wants to hear from you about what you’ve done to someone or Him; He wants to hear about the sin you are committing. He wants to tear your transgression up, stomp all over it, and fling it into the ocean. He is waiting on you to talk with Him about it.  Stop wondering when the blade is going to fall on your head and start communicating with God. His forgiveness jar is somewhere at the bottom of a very deep ocean. Wouldn’t you rather your sin be there than in your heart? Make it right with Him today.


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