I Am Thankful for Forgiveness

Jesus said in Luke 6:37, “Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.”

Across our nation this Thanksgiving, families will gather; there will be discussions, disagreements and debates stemming from the judgements we all made about the Presidential Election. Since the election, I have been doing a lot of judging. I judged the Democratic Nominee, I judged the now President-Elect, and I judged all their supporters.   

With the passage of time and the conviction of Jesus and his Word, I am thankful this Thanksgiving for forgiveness. I ask for forgiveness for judging all Trump supporters as racist. I ask for forgiveness for judging all Clinton supporters as incompetent losers. I ask for forgiveness for all the foul, cruel, repulsive things that I thought in judgment during this campaign. I ask for forgiveness from everyone I have judged. For in judging, I have often misunderstood, misinterpreted and misconstrued from where people were coming.

Therefore, should I vow to stop judging? No, but I will try! Nevertheless, like all sin, judging is in our human nature. However, I am praying for divine power to help me. I plan to stay close to Jesus this Thanksgiving, as I gather in discussion, disagreement and debate:

  • To consider and respect the point of view of the person with whom I disagree 
  • To work to find common ground          
  • To love my neighbor as myself, and to forgive.   

I am thankful for forgiveness this Thanksgiving. I am confident that if we exercise forgiveness, then our discussions, disagreements and debates over the election will carry less judgements.

“Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, ‘Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?’ Jesus answered, ‘I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times,’” (Matthew 18: 21-22 NIV).

I am thankful for forgiveness!

A Thanksgiving Feast of Love

In just a few days Americans will gather for the feast of feeding, called Thanksgiving.  Before us, will be plates filled with turkey, dressing, vegetables and other good things to feed ourselves.   

I am a student at Columbia Theological Seminary.  Recently our President, Leanne Van Dyk, relayed this story about a Cherokee father and his daughter.

The father was teaching his daughter about life, and he tells her, “A fight is going on inside me.”

“It is a terrible fight between two wolves. One is evil – he has anger, envy, greed, arrogance, self-pity, resentment, and lies inside of him.  The other wolf has goodness – joy, peace, love, kindness, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith inside of him.  This same fight is going on inside you and inside every other person, too.”

The young child thought about it for a minute and then asked her father, “Which wolf will win inside of you?”

The Cherokee Father replied, “The one I feed.”

If you spend any time watching our political discord, have seen what is going on in our streets, or dialog on social media, it seems as if we are not feeding each other much love.  This Thanksgiving, along with the cranberry sauce and the pumpkin pie, let’s feed ourselves some love.

Jesus tells us the second commandment is to “love your neighbor as yourself” (Mark 12:31).  As a Thanksgiving gift, I would like to give you a serving of love for your feast.

“Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. Love does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love.” (Mark 12:31), NLT)

Have a happy Thanksgiving, and let’s feed ourselves and those around us with love.