Forgiveness

It's been a while since I've blogged. I've been sick since a few days before Thanksgiving and just haven't felt up to it. So in the middle of my trying to cough up a lung every hour or so, my sister in law sends me an email to make me feel better.

She tells me the story of her finding her car window shattered so that some "punks" could break in and steal some EMPTY bank bags that belong to the church. Jo was careful to mention that they bags weren't just lying around. They were covered with a bunch of junk.

I had kind of mixed feelings about her email. While I did laugh at her (and one of my neices) position that there be a special place in Hell (one with extra torture) for stupid theives that steal things with no value (and my laughter made me feel better), I was a bit worried about my younget neice that was a bit traumatized and now thinks that the bad guys are out to get them.

In the midst of this the idea of "forgiveness" came up. How can we as Christians forgive someone 70 x 7 times when we think up elaborate torture devices for those cursed with stupidity?

We did a sermon series in our church over a year ago on this very subject. It was inspired and led by our youth pastor so I'll definitely give him the credit. During his sermon he had a friend come up to the front and kept giving him luggage to carry. He explained that when we don't forgive someone, we hold onto "baggage" and it weighs us down. Forgiveness lightens our load. Think of Ebeneezer Scrouge and the chains that Marley wore that he'd made during his lifetime.

I'm careful to mention that I don't think that desiring some form of torture for "those who sin against you" is all so bad. In fact it could be quite therapeutic and fun at dinner parties. But when things turn from creative evil thoughts to festering evil plans - we've got a problem.

Forgiveness means being able to move on. That doesn't mean you forget. That doesn't mean you let it happen again. And that still doesn't make it easy. But I'm really glad that people and especially God are able to forgive me for my stupidity so I learn and try to forgive others any time I'm able.

Thanks JO for the blog idea and we can make a game at Christmas of who can come up with the best torture device for those who broke the car and scared Hannah. Perhaps God will bless them when they're older with children that wake up with night terrors every night.

Until Everyone Hears,

Comments

Anonymous said…
Thanks for the blog on forgiveness, Shannon, I definitely learned something from it. I will do my best to try to live a 'lighter' life from now on.

As the least forgiving in the fasmily, it's too bad I won't be there to play with you on Christmas, though...I probably have some great inputs for your game ; )

DF

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