Thursday, June 17, 2021

The Power to Forgive

I'm a writer. I write all the time. I was probably born with a pen in hand. My mother used to get so mad at me because I was constantly writing. Every slip of paper in our house was fair game for me. I'd write on scraps, napkins, even toilet paper! As far as I know, I never wrote on anything other than paper but I could be mistaken. There were always so many thoughts running through my head I just had to record them. Usually I'd write with a pencil but every now and then, I'd write with a pen. The only problem was, when you write in pen, it's not easy to erase. As I grew older, I gave up the pen and pencil opting for the ease and speed of a typewriter. Whiteout became my best friend until I learned to type quickly and efficiently. My first typewriter was a manual Royal, a heavy machine, from the 1950s. I loved that typewriter and still have it to this day. When computers came along, I was in heaven. Not only could I record thoughts quickly, I could store them easily on disks or hard drives for posterity's sake. But, there was one key on the keyboard that gave me absolute power - the delete key. In an instant, I could wipe out everything. I loved depressing the delete key and seeing the words permanently gone. I could start over with a clean slate and if I didn't like the words I'd written, I could delete them and start over again. Thinking about the delete key, I wished we had one for life. A few weeks ago, one of my family members hurt me. In a volatile situation, words had been shouted and the wounds cut deep. I stood in shock as I listened to venom spew from that person's mouth. It was evil and ugly. I cried myself to sleep that night wondering where the poison had come from and why it had poured forth so easily, but deep down, I knew. When we walk in the flesh, things can get nasty in a hurry. My heart had been hurt. I loved this person. And I knew, Satan wanted me to allow a root of bitterness to grow up in my heart. He wanted me to be angry and for our relationship to be strained and broken. But God wanted restoration. I wished we could delete the incident and start over. That's when God reminded me of the delete key. He spoke to my heart and said forgiveness is like the delete key on a computer. When we choose to forgive, it's like giving a promise - the promise that we'll never bring up the offense commited against us again. Forgiveness gives us the power to delete the mental record of the pain of our hurt. We eliminate it. It's as if the sin never occured. And isn't that exactly what God does for us? When we ask Jesus to forgive us, when we repent of our sin, He doesn't say, "Oh, no... you owe me." No. His arms open wide and He says, "Yes, beloved! I forgive you." And not only does He forgive us, the Bible says He forgives us as far as the East is from the West. And He remembers our sin no more. Now if God can do that, why can't we? Forgiveness is a gift we give ourselves. Why hold onto an offense that will constantly remind us of an unhealed wound? The power to forgive is a gift from the Father. I hope you use it and use it often.

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