I am writing tonight from the dark and stormy Tampa Bay area.
Jesus wept: The Bible and Human Emotions, Lesson 5.
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“If you, O Lord, kept a record of sins, O Lord, who could stand? But with you there is forgiveness; therefore you are feared” (Psalm 130:3, 4, NIV).
I am so glad we have a God who does not hold our mistakes against us. I am grateful also for friends who forgive and forget so easily. When I was in junior high, I remember we used to tease a kid in our class thinking it was all in good fun. We did not realize how hurtful we were. Years later, as a Pathfinder club leader I had to counsel some kids one night for teasing one of the other kids, and making them upset. On the way home that evening, I realized that I had caused the same pain to the kid in my class years before. I felt bad, so that night I sent them an e-mail and apologized for my behavior years ago. The next morning, when I got up, there was an e-mail telling me they do not remember me teasing them. They said all they remember is that I have been a good friend for over 30 years. I just thought, “Wow!” I want to be loving and forgiving like that.
A few years ago, when I had not been in Tampa long at all, I said something (Its always my mouth that gets me in trouble) that I should not have said to another elder in the church. I called and apologized later, and the other elder forgave me very quickly. Still, I felt awkward and foolish for how I had acted. Ever since then the elder has always been very nice to me, but up until just here lately, I have always felt very awkward around this person. Then one day he and I were talking together, having a very friendly conversation when it dawned on me, that this elder does not even remember the situation that has me feeling embarrassed every time I see him. I told myself that if he has forgiven me and forgotten about it, then I should forgive myself and forget about it.
Jesus says, “freely ye have received, freely give.” Matthew 10:8. I believe this applies also with forgiveness. We need to be very forgiving of others, like my friends have been with me. Likewise we need to forgive ourselves.