The Blessing of Forgiveness
“And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.”
Matthew 6:12, KJV
My long gangly preteen legs stretched out behind me as I sprawled on my stomach on the living room carpet—you know the olive green shag stuff of ages gone by. My mom, dad, brother, and I gathered around the television—we had color by this time. It’s what we did each evening after supper, but tonight was different. My heart pounded in my chest. I couldn’t focus on the antics of the Beaver, Wally, or Eddie—characters from a favorite family show. What had happened that afternoon created a whirlwind in my mind. Mom was bound to find out. Even if she didn’t, I couldn’t take it any more.
I sat up and scooted over by her overstuffed chair. My eyes filled with tears.
Mom smiled and raked her fingers through my stringy blonde hair. “What’s wrong, Sis?”
I could feel all eyes shift from the television to me. I couldn’t hold it in any longer. Like a volcano exploding the words burst out. “I lied to you, Mom.” Her fading smile tempted me to stop but, the lava flow couldn’t be controlled. “I lied when you asked me if I practiced my piano lesson. I didn’t practice. I’m sorry I lied.” I ducked my head and waited.
Mom lifted my chin. “You’re forgiven.”
Those weren’t her final words, but they were enough to cleanse my heart and mind.
My lie had not removed me from the family. It did remove me from experiencing the joy and love that were mine as a part of the family—not because my family had changed toward me, but because I had let sin block my receiving their fellowship. At a young age I had experienced a little portion of what King David must have experienced when he held his sin in secret. I found, like David the blessing of forgiveness and the anguish of unforgiveness.
- “How blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven,
- Whose sin is covered!
- How blessed is the man to whom the LORD does not impute iniquity,
- And in whose spirit there is no deceit!
When I kept silent about my sin, my body wasted away
Through groaning all day long.
For day and night Thy hand was heavy upon me;
My vitality was drained away as with the fever heat of summer.
I acknowledged my sin to Thee,
And my iniquity I did not hide;
I said, ‘I will confess my transgressions to the LORD’;
And Thou didst forgive the guilt of my sin.”
Psalm 32:1-5; NASB
As David tells us in the end of this Psalm, God restored to him the joy of righteousness—even as He did for me.
“But he who trusts in the LORD,
lovingkindness shall surround him.
Be glad in the LORD and rejoice you righteous ones,
And shout for joy all you who are upright in heart.”
Psalm 32:10,11; NASB
In Praise of God’s Forgiveness:
“For Thou, Lord, art good, and ready to forgive,
And abundant in lovingkindness to all who call upon Thee.”
Psalm 86:5; NASB
For Reflection: The phrase from the Lord’s prayer we began with, is not so much about the prayer of salvation but about keeping our relationship with our heavenly Father true with nothing between us. He doesn’t move away from us, but our sin causes us to move away from Him. He waits to hold us near. Is there anything holding you back? Run to Him. He is waiting to forgive and restore.