One Christmas we gathered at my parents’ house for the seasonal festivities.
The grandkids went through the process of opening their gifts and covering grandmother’s floor with colorful wrapping paper.
After they were finished, my father invited the children and spouses to select one of five envelopes he’d placed on the Christmas tree. I picked one and went back to my seat. I opened it and discovered a crisp, new $100 bill. I was very excited to receive this money and broke into a wide grin.
Amy opened her envelope and found $20. Not as good as my $100, but what can I say? She’s an in-law.
My brother’s envelope contained $50, and his wife’s contained $5. My sister’s envelope had $10.
As I looked around the room, I sensed something was very wrong. This wasn’t like my parents. Why would they give so much money to one and so little to another? They prided themselves on being equitable in their dealings with us. Why was I getting $100, when my sister was only getting $10?
My father let us wonder about this for a few minutes before he drew another set of envelopes from hiding. Mine contained another $100 bill, but Amy’s contained $180. My brother’s contained $150, and his wife’s contained $195. My sister’s contained $190, bringing each of us to a total of $200.
That was more like it. That was the equitable behavior I’d come to expect from my parents.
Our heavenly father is also equitable in his treatment of his children, specifically as it relates to the forgiveness of sins. While it’s true each of us has different amounts of sin and each of us has different things we must be forgiven of, the fact remains that whenever someone receives Christ as their savior, God forgives all their sins. No matter how many, no matter how few.
Do you know where inequity in forgiveness of sins comes from? From us. We classify sins. We quantify sins. We say one sin is worse than another. We are willing to forgive people for certain sins but not for others. This is not the example set for us by our heavenly father.
He forgives all sins, regardless of how “big” or how “little” we may say they are.
God may forgive people of different amounts of sin, but in the end everyone receives an equitable amount of forgiveness: We are forgiven completely (1 John 1:9).
The Rev. Parrish Myers is a local minister living in Braselton. His column appears biweekly in Sunday Life and on gainesvilletimes.com/life.