Nov 2, 2008

Sunday Soaking - Jesus... offering forgiveness and healing for more than 2000 years!

So, I was thinking in the shower... one of the best places I think. And I was reflecting on how much Christ forgives me, but how much I struggle with forgiving others. I never really thought that I was a grudge holder... I truly thought that I let go of my anger... and really forgave easily. HA!
Matthew 6:14,15 "For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.

It all started this fall when Ben started school. First of all I had some drama with my family. Nothing tests forgiveness like having issues with your family. I discovered a veritable treasure trove of unforgiven hurts and anger. I'm still muddling through that clutter... what to keep, what to discard?
Matthew 18:21, 22 Peter came to Jesus and asked, "Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?" Jesus answered, "I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times. (Followed by the parable of the ungrateful servant).......35 "This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother from your heart."

Then, I was working in my son's class one day and my son did something that hurt another child's feelings, his teacher (who is a believer) made him stand up and look the other little boy in the eye and apologize. Then the other little boy responded with "It's okay", which from my perspective is a normal response. His teacher quickly corrected... "No, it's not okay that he hurt you, it's not okay for him to call you a name" so the little boy looked expectantly at her. I did too.
Luke 17:3, 4 So watch yourselves. "If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him. If he sins against you seven times in a day, and seven times comes back to you and says, 'I repent,' forgive him."

She said... (are you ready?) "Say 'I forgive you'". So he did and both children sat down. Now my son always says "I forgive you" in response to an apology. One friend said that it's not appropriate, she suggested that the appropriate response is "'I accept your apology'... because what if you DON'T forgive them?" Uh, I don't know... if someone apologizes, isn't that the same as asking for forgiveness? If someone asks for forgiveness, aren't you supposed to forgive?
Ephesians 4:32 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.

So here's the worst part... my son says "I forgive you" whenever I apologize to him. Have you ever said you're sorry, when you really aren't? Me too. Know how I know? Everytime I say "I'm sorry" to Ben, but don't really mean it, and he says "I forgive you" it makes me feel annoyed. Being forgiven takes an incredible amount of humility. which makes me wonder if I ever accepted Christ's forgiveness...
hmm. So confusing.

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