“I will Forgive”

The Upper Room devotional reflection for Thursday, February 17, 2022 comes to us from Matthew Holden of Indiana

2 At dawn he appeared again in the temple courts, where all the people gathered around him, and he sat down to teach them. 3 The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group 4 and said to Jesus, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. 5 In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?” 6 They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing him. But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger. 7 When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” 8 Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground. 9 At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there. 10 Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” 11 “No one, sir,” she said. “Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.”

John 8:10-11 NIV
 

“I will Forgive”

I recently found my university residence hall completely trashed. Chairs were strewn all over; broken eggs were splattered on everything; toilet paper coated most surfaces. I was livid. I told anyone who would listen how mad I was, and I wanted to get back at the people who had done this. Thankfully, the time it took to clean up cleared my head, and I was reminded of the story from John 8. Though the woman had sinned, Jesus implicated the Pharisees saying that “any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone” (John 8:7).


Jesus called attention to the fact that we are all sinners and chose to forgive the woman instead of shaming or punishing her. That is love, that is forgiveness, and that is the God we follow. The pranksters did something wrong, but it is not my place to condemn them. If I want to become like Christ, then I need to forgive people, even when they have wronged me. I must forgive because Jesus first forgave me from Matthew Holden of Indiana.

 

Friends –

Forgiveness is often very difficult to accomplish. For me it’s a process. Just when I think that I may have accomplished forgiveness, I remember what I was angry about, and the “offending” person takes up space in my head. But Jesus calls me to remember that I have also needed to be forgiven, and that letting go of that anger and forgiving will eventually heal both the forgiver and the forgiven. I invite you to consider moments when you have been angry and tried to let go of that anger, only to have it circle around and take up space in your consciousness again. Can you trust God to help you find healing for both of you?

--Pastor bea

 
Prayer:

Dear God, help us be faithful to you in our forgiveness. Help us find it in our hearts to forgive those who have wronged us. Amen.

--Matthew Holden


Prayer Focus:

Someone who has wronged me


Thought for the Day:

I will follow Christ’s teaching and forgive my enemies today.