Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Mid-Week Message - Forgive As We Are Forgiven

"He does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities.  For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.  As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him; for he knows how we are formed, he remembers we are dust."  Psalm 103:10-14  (NIV)

She was ten years old when the problems started.  Her mother and father divorced just as she was going through puberty and her body was changing.  As she was attempting to come to terms with the changes within her, her mother uprooted her and her siblings and moved from their small town in mid-America to a heavy populated city in California.  Here she encountered attention from boys and became involved in drugs.  By the time she was fifteen she had been pulled into a much less than desirable profession.  At eighteen, she began to understand how it was impacting her life and did all she could to change it.  She got off the drugs and alcohol and began living the way she knew she should.  However, now in her fifties, the choices she made as a teenager still follow her and she feels she can never escape them.  

Another girl, another story.  She was seventeen, pretty, a cheerleader from a "perfect" home.  She became promiscuous and found herself pregnant.  She was so afraid to tell her parents that she acquired birth control pills, took them all and gave birth alone in the family bathroom.  After a couple of months, the police knocked on the door and asked to speak to her.  Someone had told her secret.  Because of taking the birth control pills, her baby was stillborn.  After the birth, rather than telling her parents, she took the baby into the backyard and buried her.  When her mother found out, what she said to her daughter was, "We had the perfect life."  No matter what she does now, she is still reminded of the mistakes she made and feels she will pay for them forever.  

I don't know if either of these women had, or now has, a relationship with Jesus.  I hope they do.  We all know what it feels like for our past sins to be held against us.  Maybe ours are not as egregious as the ones I have just mentioned, or maybe they are even worse.  Either way, we all want to be able to seek forgiveness and move on with our lives.  There is not one single person that has ever lived, except Jesus Christ, who has been without sin.  

As Christians, we have the promise that we can go to the Father in repentance, ask for His forgiveness and be assured that it is granted.  Today's verse says that "as far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us."  So here is my question.  If the Lord Most High can forgive us, why can't we forgive each other?

In both examples above, the women are being reminded of their past by people who had no part in that part of their lives.  There was no offense made against them but they have taken it upon themselves to make sure everyone knows what these women did.  Even if they have sought forgiveness from the Lord, they aren't being allowed to leave the past in the past and build a new future.  

In John 8 we are told of a woman who had been caught in the act of adultery that was brought before Jesus by the Pharisees.  They reminded Jesus that the law of Moses said that she should be stoned, at which our Lord knelt and wrote in the dirt.  He said to the men, "Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her."  Then he knelt and wrote again.  One by one, the Pharisees left.  We don't know what was written, but some scholars think that he may have written of the sins committed by the woman's accusers.  The point I am making is this - we all have sinned.  Unless we are without sin, we have no business reminding others of the wrongs they have committed.  

As we go through this week, let's me mindful that we encounter broken hearts every single day.  We need to carry the healing love of the Father, not be reminders and accusers.  As we wish to be forgiven, we need to forgive others.  If our Creator loves us enough not to hold our sins against us, then we need to do the same for those around us.  In sincere love, God bless!  

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