Sunday August 2, 2020 – An amazing gift: the ability to forgive

Today’s Scripture is at the end of the devotional

A few years ago in early spring I had the joy of watching part of our granddaughter’s soccer game.  Other than the fact that it was 37 degrees, breezy and raining – it was a great time.  I did my grandfatherly duty by taking her younger sister to our van and sat with her in it with the heater on for 10 minutes during the game when her toes got too cold.

Fortunately I had on hiking shoes that are warm, lightweight and waterproof.  I was dressed warmly, with a winter hat, gloves and coat and of course my favorite big golf umbrella.  While it was still cold and wet out, and my face was getting the brunt of it – I was prepared for it. The ‘gear’ that I had protected me from the elements.

Think of being out there with wet shoes and wet cold feet; no hat and soaked to the skin by the rain and shivering in the cold.  Your little umbrella got turned inside out by the wind and is over in the trash can.  Your nose is running and you’re sneezing and the game just seems to be going on without end.

Does this scenario bring back memories to you?  It sure does to me!  Times when at outside events the weatherman couldn’t have gotten it more wrong – or we failed to take note of updated forecasts and we didn’t have the ‘gear’ we needed to protect ourselves.  Whatever, we became cold and miserable.  Of course if it was a sporting event and our team won, it made it a bit better!

This morning when I got up, the Lord brought to mind one of the greatest gifts that He has given us.  It is an absolutely vital component of our spiritual ‘gear’ that provides incredible protection regardless of the ‘inclement’ spiritual situations we encounter.  Better still, this gift can become such a part of our lives that it automatically kicks in whenever we need it.  What is this gift?

It’s the ability to forgive!  No matter what we encounter; no matter what kind of hurt, disappointment, offense or insult – our ability and practice to immediately forgive provides a priceless protection to our lives.  It frees us to respond righteously to whatever circumstances we find ourselves in.

Unforgiveness has been described as putting arsenic in your own body with the intent to get even with someone else.  It’s imperative that we recognize just how vital forgiveness is to our spiritual well-being.  It keeps us dry, warm and healthy no matter what kind of inclement spiritual storms we encounter.  Let us renew our commitment to this truth Jesus taught us Luke 11:4 that describes how we are to live:

“And forgive us our sins, for we ourselves also forgive everyone who is indebted to us [who has offended us or done us wrong]. And bring us not into temptation but rescue us from evil.” (AMP)

About Don Schmidt

Beginning in the fall of 2009, Don was VP of Operations & Director of Student Life for 2 years at Williamson Christian College in Franklin, TN - a wonderful, accredited 4 year college for adult learners. That is where he started writing the devotionals. The passion of his heart is to love God and to help others learn to love God more and more. He grew up in St. Joseph, MI - Class of '66. Graduated from Michigan State in '70 and Wheaton Grad School in '78. Thunderous conversion October 11, 1968. He and Donna were engaged 2 hrs & 15 minutes after they met August 25, 1969 at a Christian camp in Georgia. They married in '70 and have 4 wonderful sons. Most of his adult career has been in business in NE Ohio. They lived for 20 years in Peninsula, OH. They attended St. Luke's Ministries (Anglican) in Copley, OH for many years. Four years ago they were reassigned by the Lord to attend River of Life Community Church in Hudson, OH. St. Luke's prayerfully sent them off on this new adventure with much love.
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