For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.
~ ROMANS 3:23
Forgiven to Forgive
Who wants to live with yesterday’s rubble? Who wants to hoard the trash of the past? You don’t, do you?
Or do you?
Not in your house, mind you, but in your heart? Not the junk of papers and boxes, but the remnants of anger and hurt. Do you pack-rat pain? Amass offenses? Record slights?
A tour of your heart might be telling. A pile of rejections stockpiled in one corner. Accumulated insults filling another. Images of unkind people lining the wall, littering the floor.
No one can blame you. Innocence takers, promise breakers, wound makers, you’ve had your share. Yet doesn’t it make sense to get rid of their trash? Jesus says: Give the grace you’ve been given.
Let’s calculate our indebtedness to him. How often do you sin, hmm, in an hour? To sin is to “fall short” (Romans 3:23). Worry is falling short on faith. Impatience is falling short on kindness. The critical spirit falls short on love. How often do you come up short with God? For the sake of discussion, let’s say ten times an hour and tally the results. Ten sins an hour, times sixteen waking hours (assuming we don’t sin in our sleep), times 365 days a year, times the average male life span of seventy-four years. I’m rounding the total off at 4,300,000 sins per person.
Tell me, how do you plan to pay God for your 4.3 million sin increments? Your payout is unachievable. Unreachable. You’re swimming in a Pacific Ocean of debt.
Yet God pardons the zillion sins of selfish humanity. Forgives 60 million sin-filled days. “Out of sheer generosity he put us in right standing with himself. A pure gift. . . .” (Romans 3:24 MSG). Multimillion-dollar forgiveness should produce a multimillion-dollar forgiver, shouldn’t it?
~ EVERY DAY DESERVES A CHANCE
Gracious Father, you have forgiven selfish humanity for every selfish sin. You have reached out in grace, mercy, and forgiveness without keeping count. When we are tempted to withhold forgiveness from others, may we remember how often you have forgiven us. Teach us to be as generous to others as you have been to us. May we never tire of being compassionate forgivers, amen.
I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the LORD,” and You forgave the iniquity of my sin.
~ PSALM 32:5
Forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
~ MATTHEW 6:12