It was the new pastor’s first opportunity to visit the sixth grade boys’ Sunday school class. He knew the lesson they were about to study was on forgiveness. He looked around the class and recognized Danny who lived in his neighborhood.
“Danny,” he said, looking at him and smiling, “do you think you could forgive a boy if he hit you?”
“Oh, yes sir,” he said proudly, “I know I could - especially if he was bigger than me.”
It’s interesting to think about whom we are willing to forgive or not forgive. Perhaps we even have an established criterion. It seems as though there are some individuals whom we forgive easily and quickly - no matter what they have said or done to us. Then, there are some we do not want to forgive – now or ever - some whom we want to “get even” no matter how long it takes.
How unlike Jesus. When He was teaching His disciples to pray, He said, “...forgive us our sins just as we have forgiven - not “might” or “should” - but, have forgiven those who have sinned against us.
Jesus offered no criteria when it comes to forgiving. Forgiving others is the sign of a heart that understands, accepts, and appreciates the forgiveness of God. If we are slow or refuse to forgive others, we do not understand the true meaning of forgiveness and do not realize all that God has done for us. The more we understand God’s forgiveness, the more forgiving we will be.
Prayer: We know, Father, that when we forgive others we have an understanding of Your forgiveness and mercy. May we forgive others as You have forgiven us. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Scripture For Today: and forgive us our sins, as we have forgiven those who sin against us. Matthew 6:12