Forgiveness

Hello faithful bulletin readers! I don’t know if I have ever said it but thank you! Thank you for taking the time to read these articles. It is a real honor to get to share with you and to walk this journey together. I hope the Lord has spoken to you through one of my writings, and that He is shaping your heart, helping you to be more the person He has intended for you to be.

I must admit though, I think the process of writing these articles is far more beneficial for me than you. Writing for the bulletin is always such a gift, a great prayer, an opportunity to see what the Lord has to say to me and the ways that He wants to challenge me. Sometimes it’s hard though! I don’t always want to hear what He has to say, because I know it’s going to require me to change. And although I know His ways are better than mine, and it will ultimately lead to greater happiness, sometimes my sin feels comfy and familiar.

It was funny—as I started reading today, I began to think of people who have wronged me, people who I still need to forgive, or forgive again. I thought of the pain and hurt others have caused me and some significant wounds that seem to fester, even when I think I’ve dealt with them. I’d like to think that the healing will come from the Lord without any real effort on my part and then I read, “Could anyone nourish anger against another and expect healing from the LORD?” Touche, Sirach. It looks like I need to start with forgiveness to find the healing I’m looking for. But still—it’s all about those who have hurt me, I’m simply the wronged person.

And then you get to the psalm. The Lord is kind and merciful! Yay! So even if I’m not doing such a good job forgiving others, I’m sure He will forgive me. Now these readings aren’t seeming so bad! The letter from Paul is downright inspirational—I will live and die for the Lord!

And then the Gospel. At first it seems to go with what I’ve decided the Lord wants to say to me today (forgive others for your own healing). But then I read the parable, and I let it sink in. The king (aka God) forgives the debtor (aka me) who owes a huge amount. The debtor begs for forgiveness, it is given, and then seeks out someone who owes him a far lesser amount. He does not forgive this person and then the king finds out and the debtor is in a whole load of trouble. Yes, it’s a story of the importance of forgiveness, and I need to forgive those who have hurt me to find healing, but that’s not exactly how God is challenging me today. 

You see, if I’m the debtor in the story, I owe a huge amount. And those who have hurt me owe a far lesser amount. But if I think about my sin versus the sin of another, it’s pretty easy for me to feel like their sin is more significant than mine. Why? Because I like to think I’m better than others, which is just another sin to add to my own “huge amount.”

Is God saying I’m a worse person than others? No. But He is calling me to take an honest look at my own faults, and to extend the grace and mercy I give myself to others—to not see their sins as more significant than my own—to see them as another one of God’s beloved children, with whom He is also kind and merciful. And if I can see someone as another person, and not just as the harm they have caused me, my heart softens, and forgiveness is possible. 

Blessings,

Elizabeth McCanna
Youth Minister

Leave a Reply

Archives