06/12/11 Pentecost Sunday
“If you forgive sins, they’re gone for good. If you don’t forgive sins, what are you going to do with them?” John 20:23
Forgiving someone who has sinned against you is hard—just plain hard. We would rather chew on that sin like a piece of gum until it has lost all its flavor. And, it’s no easier to forgive ourselves than it is to forgive a mate, friend, co-worker. It is humbling to admit sinful ways and to look someone in the eye and ask, “Will you forgive me?”
Jesus is asking a good question in the scripture quoted above: “What are you going to do with them [unforgiven sins]?” Scientists believe stress causes our body to break down, and there is nothing more stressful than carrying around a backpack of unforgiven sin. Soon the body, mind, and soul is full of pain.
Sometimes it is necessary to savor a sinful act for awhile. If we forgive someone too quickly, before figuring out the whats, whys, hows, and whens, and understand our part in the sinful situation, then the backpack we carry around will never be fully empty, and our hearts will not be healed.
God provides the path for forgiveness by breathing the Holy Spirit on us—all sinners. Through prayer and meditation the time and way to forgive will be revealed.
Lord, I am grateful for the peace I receive when I forgive those who sin against me. Amen.