“… Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him? …” Mt. 18.21 (NASB).
by Norm Miller
The old expression “A blind squirrel finds a nut occasionally” might be exemplified by Don Henley, singer/song writer for The Eagles. Henley’s song, “The Heart of the Matter,” provides telling commentary about the world’s perception of love, heartbreak and recovery. Henley indeed found an acorn. The remedy for broken-heartedness is forgiveness. Henley writes: “But I think it’s about forgiveness—forgiveness—even if, even if you don’t love me anymore.” There it is in a nutshell. In spite of how someone feels about you, forgiveness is the key to your healing after someone hurts you.
Matthew 18 is a classic passage on forgiveness. Few seem to recall the Lord’s words in Matthew 5, however, maybe because the former focuses on the one who offended you. The latter is more personal; it focuses on you as an offender. In fact, the Matthew 5 verses intimate that worship is inhibited or perhaps impossible if we don’t first seek forgiveness from someone we’ve wronged.
“These times are so uncertain / There’s a yearning undefined / … / How can love survive in such a graceless age?” Henley accurately states, except for that last phrase. This is not a graceless age. It is, however, an age filled with people who need grace, God’s grace. God’s forgiveness is an expression of heavenly grace—getting something we don’t deserve.
If a secular icon such as Henley can stumble onto a portion of God’s truth about forgiveness, shouldn’t the ones who have God’s Truth living in them lead the way in expressing the grace of forgiveness?
DIG DEEPER: Read Mt. 5.23-24 and 18.21-22. Note carefully the interpersonal relationships. Can you determine what God is trying to teach us? How important to God is forgiveness among His children?
© Norm Miller