Daily Devotional for March 9, 2023

Chris is moving to the country.  And by virtue of owning acreage and being a man, Chris decided he needs a tractor.  I agreed.

Last week, Chris sent me a picture of a tractor he was thinking about buying.  I was appalled.

The tractor was so tiny, it looked like a Tonka toy.  It was an embarrassment to everyone who owns a real tractor.  

The loader on the front of the tractor was so small and weak, he would have been hard-pressed to put an orange in the bucket.  Instead of pulling a real shredder to mow his property, Chris would have had to drag a lawnmower behind the tractor.  It was the sort of tractor other tractors make fun of.

Trying to be affirming and yet also explain to Chris it wasn’t going to work, I texted two words, “Too small.”

But now that I’ve had some time to think it through, I am ashamed of Chris for even thinking about buying a toy tractor.  I’m not sure we can be friends anymore.

This got me thinking.

Even though I’ve never wanted to buy a sissy tractor, I suspect there are times when God is ashamed of my words, thoughts, and actions.  But even though God may be ashamed of me, that doesn’t mean God will ever give up or reject me.  That’s because God paid too high a price for me.  The same is true for you.

No matter how much harm you have done in this world to others or yourself, God will never forsake you.  God loves you and will always err on the side of grace.  God expects us to do the same.

In order to teach this important lesson, Jesus told the Parable of the Unforgiving Servant.

A servant owes an insurmountable debt to his king.  When he cannot pay his debt, the king forgives him.

Later that day, the forgiven servant sees another servant who owes him a few pennies.  The servant begs for more time to pay his debt, but the forgiven servant shows no mercy and has him thrown in prison.  When the king finds out, he is furious.

The forgiven servant is thrown in prison and his original debt is reinstated until he pays every penny.

Jesus concludes by saying, “My heavenly Father will also do the same to you if you don’t forgive your brother or sister from your heart.”  (Matthew 18:35)

Because God has forgiven all the shameful things I have done in my life, I am going to have to forgive Chris his horrible, incomprehensible, distasteful, delusional, and sad desire for a Tinker Toy tractor.

Prayer:  Dear Gracious Heavenly Father, because you have forgiven me, help me forgive others.  In Jesus’ name I pray.  Amen.

Bottom line is if we want to be forgiven, we must forgive.  It’s a no brainer.

Just for the record, Chris has agreed I will go with him when it’s time to buy a tractor.  He really needs my adult supervision.

I pray your day is filled with joy and laughter.
Tom Robbins