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Take out the trash February 12, 2017

Posted by JP in Discussion.
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This morning I heard an interesting analogy regarding forgiveness:

When someone sins against you (does you harm in some way – emotionally, physically, financially, etc.) it is like they have brought a bag of garbage to your house and dropped it on your living-room floor.

Forgiveness is simply the act of you picking up that bag of garbage and taking it out; disposing of it so it is no longer in your house. However, many of us do not take out that garbage. We may move it around – take it into a back room for example and shut the door (out of sight, out of mind…. really?), we may just push it over to the side of the couch, or leave it sitting in the middle of the floor.

The problem is that the garbage is still there. It begins to smell; even if it is in the back room with the door closed, the smell will eventually come out and permeate our entire house. The smell will overshadow everything good in our house and lessen the good with its rotting stench (ever try to cook and eat a delicious meal in a dumpster?).

Our house is our life. It is the entirety of who we are, mentally, emotionally, and physically. The smell of rotting garbage that we have not disposed of properly will eventually permeate our lives ruining everything that we have, or do, or try to do, and will poison and sicken us.

Forgiveness thought of in this way makes a whole lot more sense to us as we reflect on the biblical admonitions to forgive:

Ephesians 4:32 Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.

Colossians 3:13 bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.

Matthew 18:21 Then Peter came up and said to him, “Lord, how often will my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?” 22 Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you seven times, but seventy-seven times.

Forgiveness is not about the blessing of another, it is about the blessing of oneself; of following the example of our Lord in His faithfulness to forgive us of ALL of our wrongs, and it is a practical way to keep ourselves healthy in body and spirit.

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