Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Sound The Battle Cry"1 (Lyrics)
Colossians 3:13b – Forgive as the Lord forgave you. (NIV)
The seventh-grade boy locked eyes with the girl sitting opposite him in my middle school counselling office. Though he was her friend, he had told her a blatant lie the day before. She had learned the truth just as the last bell sounded, and this was their first conversation since then.
During our session, the boy admitted his guilt, brokenly apologized for lying, and asked for forgiveness. His friend quickly assured him that he was already forgiven. I was surprised when he questioned her sincerity.
"How do I know you've really forgiven me?" he asked.
The young lady replied to his doubt without hesitation.
"I had a dream," she said. "That's how you can know I forgive you."
"Listen to me," she continued. "I was really upset that you lied to me, and I wasn't sure I wanted to be your friend any more. But I prayed before I went to sleep and asked God what I should do. I dreamed that I was standing before the throne of God, and the Lord said, 'Give him another chance.' So that's what I'm doing. I don't want to be standing before the throne of God trying to explain why I didn't do what He said. He's given me other chances, so I'm giving you one. I really forgive you."
A friendship was saved because two preteen kids took God at His Word. The young man named his fault without trying to excuse it or explain it away, and asked forgiveness from the one that he had offended. The young woman expressed her feelings, but prayed for divine direction instead of following her human emotions. God gave it. Then she obeyed Him and forgave her friend as the Lord had forgiven her.
What would happen if we likewise followed Christ's instructions for resolving interpersonal tensions?
Matthew 5:23-24 – [Jesus said,] "If you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift." (NIV 2011)
It sounds like God expects me to take the first step toward reconciliation. I may need to be the one who humbly says, "I'm sorry that I hurt you by [fill in the blank]. I was wrong. Will you please forgive me?"
Jesus also leaves no room for debate about how we should respond to those who sin against us.
Matthew 18:21-22 – Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, "Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?" Jesus answered, "I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times." (NIV 2011)
Christ set the standard at unlimited forgiveness. That's what He offers us. Let's choose, therefore, as an act of worship, gratitude, and obedience, to forgive others as the Lord has forgiven us. I wonder how many relationships will be given another chance because we do.
Prayer: Father of mercy, we are grateful that You do not deal with us as our sins deserve. May we be quick to seek reconciliation, and faithful to forgive those who hurt us or those we love. For Your glory, and in the Saviour's name, we pray. Amen.
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Thank you Debbie.
What wisdom for those so young…might we all be as kind and forgiving.
Just imagine….if we forgave our enemies and then ourselves. The world would be at peace at last.
Your devontional was very meaningful. We all should practice this more in our lives but some situations it is difficult when people are hurting our family members physicaly and emontionaly.
I really enjoy your devotional “Another Chance”.
Dear Debbie: How wonderful to read of young people showing regret for wrong actions and for the young lady showing the forgiveness that we are instructed to show unto others. May God continue to move in the life of each of these young people. Thank you for sharing.
Thank you for your devotional today. It was timely and helpful.
OK- What if the girl refused to let the boy ask for forgiveness? She doesn’t have to forgive and that’s OK in God’s eyes?
Hello dear Debbie,
Hope all is well with you and your family. I got the chance to read an impressive story for you that came to me from one of the groups that usually sends short, inspirational stories around the world. It was about a beautiful, seventh-grade girl who had a dream conversation before the throne of God, telling her to forgive one of her classmates for a lie he committed to her. My heart was filled with understanding and forgiveness towards others in a way you can never imagine. The story, however, taught me that forgiveness is the fragrance that the violet sheds over the heel that has crushed it.
That your devotional today.
Forgiveness is easier now than In the past.
There are some I yet have forgiven, but will do so with FATHER’S guide. As you point out, JESUS taught HIS followers as you cite with guide to forgive.
So your today’s devotional puts me many steps forward in my quest to walk our SAVIOR’S path.
That you for being the vessel that FATHER’s word pours out HIS living word.
I pray FATHER rains blessings of health, happiness, with prosperity all the days of your life until your last earthly blessing when you are taken by the hand to your new eternal home.
AMEN & AMEN