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Myers: When the father forgives it’s forever

POSTED: October 19, 2008 5:01 a.m.

Chloe has this board book that's pretty neat. In between the cardboard "pages" there's a cutout section so a panel can be slid in and out, changing the action on the page.

Chloe loves the book, and I have to admit that I'm pretty taken with it, too. Amy tells me, "Simple mind, simple pleasures." She's so funny.

One day, through some chain of events that I'll never understand, Chloe decided she wanted to take the book apart to see how it worked.

Needless to say, she tore apart several of the pages, damaging one of them beyond my ability to fix. Instead of throwing the book away, however, I put it back on her shelf where it sat unused and unlooked-at for several weeks.

Just recently, despite its damaged condition, Chloe has rekindled her feelings toward that book, once again making it her favorite.

She was sitting on the couch one day, looking at that book, when she came to the destroyed page. She looked at me and said, "I tore that. I didn't mean to. I'm sorry."

"That's OK, Chloe," I said. "You tore it several weeks ago. You apologized for it back then, and I forgave you. You're not in trouble."

A few minutes later, though, Chloe apologized again. I pulled her into my arms and said, "Sweetheart, you tore that book a long time ago. You got in trouble for it then. But Daddy's forgiven you, and you're not going to get in trouble again."

She seemed to understand this, but a few minutes later, she apologized once more. I said, "Chloe, you don't have to keep apologizing. I've forgiven you. Forgiveness is forever."

Let me say that again: Forgiveness is forever.

But how many people really believe that? How many people really practice that? I can tell you of a personal situation where I apologized to someone for something I'd said, and they told me they forgave me. Sometime later, however, I found out that they still held a grudge against me. They hadn't forgiven me at all!

I could never do that to Chloe, though. If I tell her I'm going to forgive her for something, I'm going to do it. So is our heavenly father.

Whenever we seek God's forgiveness, he grants it (1 John 1:9). He removes our sin as far from us as the east is from the west (Psalm 103:12). What's more, he remembers it no more (Isaiah 43:25).

Isn't it nice to know that when our heavenly father forgives us, he forgives us completely? He forgives us without reservation, without condition. He forgives us of our sins, never to bring them up again at a later time.

Are you still apologizing to God for something you did a long time ago? Remember, forgiveness is forever. Lay it at your heavenly father's feet and receive the forgiveness he offers you.

Once and for all.

Parrish Myers is pastor of Pine Crest Baptist Church in Gainesville. His column runs in Sunday Life every other week.


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