Freedom of Forgiveness
My friend, Susie Lou, got a fully grown parrot for her birthday. This parrot had a large vocabulary, however, the words he spoke were all dirty and rude. Susie Lou tried to change this parrot’s attitude by saying polite words to him to repeat and putting him in a peaceful environment. But nothing worked. One day, after many expletives, Susie Lou had enough. She yelled at the parrot, shook him, and in a moment of desperation to make him stopped, she put him in the freezer.
For a few moments, she heard the bird squawking, kicking, and screaming, and then suddenly, all was quiet. Susie Lou was now frightened that she might have hurt the bird. She quickly opens the freezer door, and the parrot calmly steps out onto her extended arm and says, “I’m sorry for my ugly words and actions, please forgive me.” Susie Lou was so shocked by the change in attitude and was about to ask what changed him when the parrot continued,
“May I ask what the chicken did?” : )
I wonder if sometimes we are like that parrot and when we do something wrong, we think God will get back at us, punish us, or put us in the freezer.
Don’t get confused about God’s forgiveness. God doesn’t partially forgive, He totally forgives. God knows the worst thing we have ever done- but still, He forgives us through Christ. Now, He lovingly disciplines us and leads us to the right path, but He doesn’t get back at us. God does not remember the sin to use it against us later (like we tend to do when we forgive someone).
How do you know you are forgiven? First, it is God’s nature to forgive. Second, many times in the Scriptures He reminds us, for example, Isaiah 43:25, “I-yes, I alone- will blot out your sins for my own sake and will never think of them again.” Or Ephesians 1:7, “He is so rich in kindness and grace that he purchased our freedom with the blood of his Son and forgave our sins.”
One last reminder, Romans 8:1 “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”
It is guilt talking when you feel like God is condemning you. He doesn’t rehearse our sin in His mind, He releases it.
Confess your sin to God, ask for forgiveness, and choose to live in the freedom of Jesus paying for your sins.
Father, we are grateful for your forgiveness. Enable us to embrace your grace. And extend forgiveness and grace to others. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.