I was hit so hard while sitting in the pews on Sunday. We were hearing a message from a man by the name of Bill McLeod. He was preaching about revival and how our Church so desperately needs it.
He spoke so wonderfully about so many things, but the part that really hit home for me, were his words on forgiveness.
As most of you know, my father left our family and chose another life with another woman, when I was very young. Although I didn't understand it very well when I was little, the more life I lived, the more knowledge I have obtained, and the more responsibility I have been given, ...the more my bitterness was solidified. I could hardly bear to think of what my father did (especially after I had children of my own) and I wanted him to hurt just as much as my heart did.
I have never sought Christian counselling for my feelings and just lived with them deep inside me, knowing they were wrong, but I couldn't just forgive and forget.
Pastor Bill McLeod went on to tell us a story of a man and woman who had attended his church. He received a phone call from the man late one night and the man was crying, and begging Bill to please come over as his wife was going to leave him. Bill got dressed and headed over to their home. The wife was in one corner, her head in her hands and the man was in the other corner, slumped on a chair, crying also. The husband proceeded to tell Bill how he had cheated once on his wife, how he was so very sorry, and that she was now going to leave their home and him. Pastor McLeod asked the wife if he could tell her a story...she nodded and he went ahead.
He told her the story about a man who was in debt up to his neck, over $500,000 dollars and couldn't re-pay his debt, even though it meant he would be going to jail. He was scheduled to see the judge that day and made his way to the courthouse. Once his time before the judge came up, he became sad and begged for forgiveness of his loans and debts he said he had nothing to re-pay the $500,000.00 but that he would do anything for the judge and begged to not be lead to jail. Everyone at the time knew it was unheard of for a judge to let someone off the hook.
This judge looked at the poor man with compassion, and spoke gently to him. He told the man he was forgiven, that he no longer had debts, was a free man and to remember what the Judge had done for him.
When the man was released he was overjoyed and walked out the courthouse doors. As he was walking home, he saw a man that had loaned$5 dollars from him....he walked up to the man, grabbed him by his collar and told him to 'pay up...or else'.
When Pastor Bill had finished telling the story to the couple, he asked the woman if she understood what the story meant. She looked at him and replied an honest....No.
He said, The poor man is you, and the Judge is Jesus.
Because you are Saved, Jesus has forgiven you of all of your sins...too many to count. He has given you freedom by dying on the cross for YOUR sins. Even in his last hour on the cross, he spoke to God saying 'Father forgive them (us) for they know not what they do'.
(How compassionate! How Loving! and to think he did this for ME and YOU! )
Your husband has committed a sin against you and is now begging for your forgiveness, Jesus has forgiven and died for more than 500,000 of your sins and you cannot forgive your husbands one sin?
The wife understood and took her husband in her arms. They have gone on to become a strong Christian couple devoted to helping others in marriage.
As he spoke these words I could only think of the one sin I had been unable to completely forgive. I cannot imagine holding on to one sin, when Jesus has forgiven me of so many. He DIED for MY disgusting sins, because he loves me so much. I am white and pure in Gods eyes because of his gift of salvation.
How could I know that, and not forgive?