Daily Devotional for June 7, 2022

This past Sunday, at the first worship service, as I was preaching the greatest sermon in the history of sermons, I saw Keith look at his watch.  This hurt me deeply.
 
This past Sunday, at the second worship service, as I was preaching the greatest sermon in the history of sermons, I saw Jerry look at his watch.  This hurt me deeply.
 
At first, I decided to hold a grudge because I’ve always thought the forgiveness part of the Bible was overrated.  Besides, if there is one thing I am really good at, it’s holding a grudge.  I’m an expert grudger.
 
Then I remembered being a follower of Jesus and intentionally holding a grudge are at opposite ends of the spectrum.  In fact, if I hold a grudge and refuse to forgive Keith and Jerry’s callous, hurtful, scarring, cutting, insensitive, unkind, wounding, cruel actions, I cannot expect God to forgive my callous, hurtful, scarring, cutting, insensitive, unkind, wounding, cruel actions.
 
As Jesus taught the disciples the Lord’s Prayer, he said, “For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.  But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.”  (Matthew 6:14-15)
 
While Jesus died on the cross so that our sins could be forgiven, we have to do our part.  Being unwilling to forgive prevents us from becoming the people God created us to be.
 
You may have someone in your life who has caused incredible harm and pain.  Forgive them.  And even after you have forgiven, when resentment raises its head, ask God to help you forgive again.  Forgive as many times as it takes until it becomes real.  Then you will be set free and know true peace.
 
Prayer:  Dear Gracious Heavenly God, when I struggle to forgive, remind me of my own failings and your forgiveness.  Soften my hard heart so that I can forgive as many times as it takes to make forgiveness real.  In Jesus’ name I pray.  Amen.
 
As Jesus hung from a cross, slowly dying, he looked at those who were killing him and said, “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.”  (Luke 23:34)
 
If Jesus can forgive the greatest crime of all-time, we can forgive those who cause pain in our lives.  He’s our example.
 
Forgiveness is the best decision you will ever make.
 
Also, just for the record, since I am still a work in progress, I’ve decided to forgive one of the two watch checkers.  Only God and I will know who’s forgiven and who’s not.  
 
I’m good with that.
 
I pray your day is filled with joy and laughter.
Tom Robbins