Radical forgiveness

God offers a simple, life-changing solution to sin and failure: forgiveness—and we should offer it to others, shares Pastor Steve Wexler.

Steve Wexler
Steve Wexler

My mom taught me many Bible truths, especially, “You shall not steal” (Exod. 20:15, NKJV).

When I was 9 years old, I was walking behind the Piggly Wiggly supermarket and noticed they kept their returned glass soda bottles in the rear, unguarded and unseen. Back then, the price of soda included a bottle deposit; people later returned their bottles and got a little money back.

I got the idea that I could take and “return” these bottles for the deposit money. Within two weeks, a friend caught on to my plan and said, “You’re stealing, and I am going to tell your mom!” I tried to convince him that we could work together, but he refused.

The words “I am going to tell your mom” brought fear and trembling. Following my confession, we went to the store manager, who was also our neighbor, and I received a lecture. I would pay back what I had stolen and was barred from the store for a month. That was nothing compared to my mom’s “look” and her consequences!

But I’ll never forget, as I was crying, hearing my Mom say: “I forgive you! I love you!” Then she hugged me. I knew I was going to live! I experienced firsthand the restorative power of forgiveness.

“Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others” (Col. 3:13, NLT).

Prayer + Reflection

1. Pray: Lord, please empower us with Your Holy Spirit to be holy people whom You love. Help us put on Your attitude of love and compassion each day.

2. Ask the Lord to forgive you for any outstanding sin, so that you can walk in His grace and patience, and make allowances for others who sin.

3. Ask God to help you forgive others as He forgives you. Meditate on His Word, which offers a radical new approach to dealing with life’s sin and failures: forgiveness.

4. Please pray for those who preach God’s radical forgiveness around the world as Foursquare missionaries. Download a list of prayer concerns for FMI missionaries, updated monthly.

Share your thoughts. See comments below, and add your own.

is senior pastor of Abundant Life Foursquare Church (Bremerton Foursquare Church) in Bremerton, Wash.
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