The first installment:

Let It Go!

There is an episode in the 70’s family drama “The Waltons” where the Walton’s have a house fire. Though the cause of the fire remains in question John-boy blames himself. At the same time “Grandpa” Walton suspects it was his own carelessness that caused the fire.

When John-boy can no longer keep his secret or carry the burden he confides in grandpa that his guilt is unbearable. Grandpa wisely responds “If I started the fire you would forgive me, and if you started it I would forgive you, that’s what family does. Question is, can you forgive yourself?”

The Apostle Paul, addressing the people of the church at Corinth (1 Corinthians 6:7) Is pointing out the harm and pain of unforgiveness in the act of taking each other to court. In verse 7 Paul says “Why not rather be wronged?”NASB, and “Why not let yourselves be cheated?”NLT.

There is never truly an agreeable compensation for a wrong committed. Someone always pays and the other loses. And for what? Usually it’s all a matter of pride and revenge – getting even.

Forgiveness could settle most every problem in the world today. Racial, religious, political; people are being held hostage to hate for lack of forgiveness.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m a realist, there will be no Kumbayah moment when the world forgives each other falling into some massive group hug. But you can change your corner of the world and restore peace in your heart with three simple words “I forgive you!” The others may not need or even want your forgiveness but “Why not just be wronged?” and make the world around you a better place.

In Matthew’s Gospel, chapter 6, Jesus tells the disciples they will be forgiven in the same way they forgive. Jesus also tells a parable about unforgiveness in Matthew chapter 18, proclaiming at the end that judgment awaits those who do not forgive. God is serious about forgiveness. He alone holds the right to vengeance (Romans 12:19) and yet He made the ultimate sacrifice for forgiveness.

God forgives like He loves…magnanimously! He is so far above us in every other way His forgiveness is simply an expression of the greatness of His being. Jesus humbled Himself on a cross to forgive our neighbor but we are too proud to let go of the hurt. Why are we unable to be wronged without the compensation of some sort of justice?

“Blessed are the humble…the merciful…the pure at heart…the peacemakers” For they will obtain mercy and be called the Children of God!