And my people, who are called by My Name humble themselves and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin and will heal their broken land. 2 Chronicles 7:14 (NASB)
I spent Monday morning at the Atlanta March for Life. It was a great morning. David and Jason Benham gave the main address. These are the guys who were promised a show on HGTV, but lost it because the left labeled them as being “haters.” What was their so called “hate speech?” They said that marriage was between a man and a woman, and that babies in the womb had a right to live. They gave an excellent speech. It was all about love and forgiveness. Their dad was there. He was the one to lead “Roe” of Roe vs. Wade to Christ. She’s now an avid pro-life speaker.
Earlier, a brave woman, in her testimony, confessed that she had recently met her 40 year old son after trying to abort him, and then had given him up for adoption when she was unsuccessful. She said she was a Christian at the time, but had made some bad choices, and felt she had no other option. Her son’s name was Michael Moore, and he was the same gentlemen who had been playing such great music for us during our worship time. When he finally met her, his first question to her was if she knew his Jesus. He and his adoptive family had been praying for her. I couldn’t help but wonder how much such amazing talent has been lost to our world because of abortion. How many Beethovens or Mozarts, Einsteins, or whatever the field of greatness? But even more I wonder, were some Billy Grahams or Lottie Moons also lost? What might the last forty years have looked like without the horror of abortion? How did we, the church, let this happen? God forgive us!
Forgiveness is a topic I’ve thought a lot about recently. Our sermon series this month at Hebron Church has been on forgiveness. In the model prayer, (more commonly known as the Lord’s prayer), Jesus asks, “Forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors.” In other words, “as much as,” or “in the same manner that” we forgive is how we’re to ask God to forgive us. Do we really want God to be as stingy with His forgiveness as we are with ours? My Windspree novel series is all about forgiving the seemingly unforgiveable. The lady yesterday, Mrs. Noble, had no doubt from the time she met her son that he had forgiven her. He’d had a great life, knew the Lord, and focused on thanksgiving that she had given him life. Still, it had to be a shock to him to learn that she had not chosen life for him. She’d chosen abortion. It was through God’s divine intervention that she’d failed, and he’d been born three months early at a time when survival at such an early stage was extremely rare.
I confess I’ve had my own battles with forgiveness. Betrayal by those you love the most is the hardest to forgive. And sometimes you have to do it over and over as new betrayals surface. I’ve been reading a lot of Steven James this month. I’d met Steven a couple of times at BRMCWC, and he’s an extremely charming man, so I’d expected his novels to be lighthearted and funny. They’re not! They’re dark and suspenseful. One of his characters in Placebo says that betrayal is the nature of human beings. The character is a serial killer, so I hope she’s wrong. But I do agree that it’s certainly in our nature. It’s something we have to fight in order to be everything God wants us to be.
A friend was complaining about her sister not speaking to their mother. The mother is ill, and she couldn’t understand how she could do that. I reminded her she’d not spoken to her mother herself for over a year. I asked how she could condemn her sister for something she’d done herself. She thought the situation was different then. But was it? We all have a tendency to justify our own lack of forgiveness. God doesn’t see it that way. He forgives us. He expects us to forgive others. And He warns that if we don’t, our prayers are hindered. An unforgiving attitude is a chain that holds us back from God’s provision. We need Him. So we must forgive, not for the sake of the other person, but for our own. Do you have any chains holding you back? If so, do yourself a favor. Confess them, forgive as many times as necessary, and get on with your life. That’s what I seek to do daily. I’m not always successful, but I’m still working at it, and He’s still working on me. God bless.