Lesson in forgiveness

Matthew 18:21,22 – “Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times? Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven.”

At the beginning of the week, my daughter came home telling me that they were discussing this verse in her social skills class. Her school has different electives that the students must take to improve overall well-being. This is one of them.

Anyway, it has been interesting to see how God is weaving this lesson through my life this week. Yesterday, she came home with homework that required her to think of times in which she would need to forgive. None of them included the incident that happened last night.

She and I had decided that we would do our nails last night. My daughter is constantly doing her nails. She has already put one mark on the coffee table and one mark on the end table with the fingernail polish remover. My husband was not too happy over that one. And then last night, as she was watching television, she spilled red nail polish on our rug in the living room. Panic mode!! I’m grabbing washcloths, my iPad to find out the best way to remove it, hair spray, rubbing alcohol – you name it! I had every imaginable item that I could conceive to get it out of the carpet. All the while, I’m trying so hard not to yell and scream at her. It’s kinda funny how roles reverse. My husband was the calm one in this incident while I played that role with the nail polish remover.

While we are scrubbing and discussing the best way to get the polish out, my daughter sits down in near tears and says, “I can’t do anything right.” “No baby, it’s not that you can’t do anything right,” I said, “it’s just that sometimes you forget to pay attention to what you are doing. You can do lots of things right.” That was the turning point in the whole drama. My eleven year old daughter’s self-confidence hung in the balance in that moment and I could not let her down. I had to practice forgiveness. And when I did, the nail polish didn’t matter any more. What was more important than a stain on the carpet was that she needed to know that her mom believed that she was still awesome even though she spilled red nail polish on the carpet.

Isn’t that what we want from everyone? We want to know that our mistakes do not diminish our worth in their sight. Forgiveness allows that. Forgiveness puts away mistakes and does not bring them up again. Oh, we might remember them and learn from them, but we do not hold them against another when we truly forgive.

Once again, Jesus is our ultimate example. He forgave us all our sins before we even knew how to commit them. He loved this old, sinful world enough to die for it. And He forgives. O, does He forgive. Psalm 103:12 – “As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.” Now that is a sin-forgetting action. That is forgiveness. All we have to do is ask.

So today, Princess, people are going to disappoint you and maybe even hurt your feelings. But do something extraordinary- forgive. Forgive even if they don’t ask for it. Forgive all the more if they do. There should be no limit to your level of forgiveness. Sometimes it might be harder than others, but it should never be something that you refuse to give.

And by the way, you really can’t even see the nail polish on the carpet unless you get down on your hands and knees with a flashlight and really look. God blessed us with a rug that covers a multitude of sins!😊

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