Tuesday, January 03, 2012

A Dead Duck and a Lesson in Forgiveness

We’ve launched into a New Year. Are you ready?

Like many others you may be taking up new commitments and resolutions, things that you’re going to add to your life. Of course we can only carry “so much” in life’s journey and the question becomes, “What are you going to let go of in order to take up the new things?”

Life is a series of trades. I trade in late night television so that I can rise early to pray or exercise. I trade in junk food for healthy food. I trade in careless spending for thoughtful stewardship.

How about trading in a little guilt and experiencing forgiveness?

There was a little boy visiting his grandparents on their farm. He was given a slingshot to play with out in the woods. He practiced in the woods; but he couldn't hit any target. Getting a little discouraged, he headed back for dinner. As he was walking back he saw Grandma's pet duck. On impulse, he let the slingshot fly, hit the duck square in the head and killed it. He was shocked and grieved!

In a panic, he hid the dead duck in the wood pile; only to see his sister watching. Sally had seen it all--but she said nothing.

After lunch the next day Grandma said, "Sally, let's wash the dishes." But Sally replied, "Grandma, Johnny told me he wanted to help in the kitchen." Then she whispered to him, "Remember the duck?" So Johnny did the dishes.

Later that day, Grandpa asked if the children wanted to go fishing and Grandma said, "I'm sorry but I need Sally to help make supper." Sally just smiled and said, "Well that's all right because Johnny told me he wanted to help, didn't you Johnny?" She whispered again, "Remember the duck?" So Sally went fishing and Johnny helped Grandma.

After several days of Johnny doing both his chores and Sally's, he couldn't stand it any longer. He finally went to Grandma and confessed that he had killed the duck.

Grandma knelt down, gave him a hug and said, "Sweetheart, I know. You see, I was standing at the window and I saw the whole thing. I was wondering how long you would let Sally make you her slave. I love you. I forgive you."

You know that God has seen and known all that you have done. Do you also know that He loves you and is ready to forgive you? Today would be a great day to pray, confess your sins to God, experience His love and forgiveness and trade in your guilt for a fresh start, not just on the year but in your journey with God.

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