Thursday, July 17, 2014

Camp Devotion - Forgiveness

“It’s Not Okay"
by Jared Altic

The stranger in front of me passes through the door and accidentally lets it close in my face.  They catch sight of me and apologize, “Oh, I’m sorry!"

"It’s okay,” I quickly reply.

And it is.  They didn’t mean to shut me out.  I wasn’t hurt by it in any way.  It was polite of them to apologize and it was polite of me to dismiss it easily.  It really was “okay.”  

Sometimes, however, we say “it’s okay” when it’s not okay at all.  Suppose someone apologizes for stealing from you or telling a lie about you.  You want to be polite and you respond with "it’s okay.”  But it’s wrong to steal or lie and their action may have really hurt you.  Their apology may be something you’ve wanted badly ever since the original wrongdoing occurred.  But when we dismiss their apology with “it’s okay” we are saying that their action was not inherently wrong and that no one was hurt by it.  We are assuring them of something we don’t actually feel.  It may be polite but it’s not true.

When someone does wrong to us and apologizes, we need to say “I forgive you.”  We can say it politely and mean it sincerely but sins have to be forgiven, not merely dismissed.  When we are the guilty party, God doesn’t just sweep it under the rug and pretend it didn’t happen.  God doesn’t look at our lies and lust, our greed and destructiveness and say, “It’s okay.”  No, he paid the price to fix the problem through Jesus Christ’s sacrifice on the cross.  When we repent and turn to God, feeling remorse for our wrongs, God forgives our sin.  He solves the problem; he doesn’t pretend that it didn’t exist in the first place.

Read:  Matthew 6:14; Acts 13:38; Luke 17:4; Ephesians 4:32; Colossians 3:13

Pray:  Help me to truly forgive those who have sinned against me.  Help me to recognize the seriousness and damage caused by sinful behavior.  Please forgive my sins as I’ve forgiven those who have sinned against me.

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