August 21, 2010
(Jesus said) "Forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us." Matthew 6:12
Just about everybody I know, even the most peaceful and peace loving among us, can get involved in an argument or a fight. Sometimes those fights can get carried too far. In an old monastery near Bebenhausen, Germany, you can see two pairs of deer horns interlocked. They were found in that position many years ago. The deer had been fighting; their horns got jammed together, and the deer couldn't separate. The bucks eventually died of starvation.
As a pastor, I regret to report I have seen the same thing happen to people. I've seen husbands and wives -- both convinced they are absolutely right -- start banging their heads together and refuse to call off the argument. It ends with two very right people in a divorce court. Friends who had once been inseparable become divided because of a small trifle. Neither has the ability to confess, "I was wrong." The final chapter in the relationship shows the ex-friends going their separate ways. How much better it is to follow the example of God. Rather than keeping a list of when He's right (which is all the time) and when we're wrong (which is also all the time), He forgives. Then having forgiven us, He tells us to forgive others as we have been forgiven.
It sounds simple, but sometimes it's hard to separate the horns of people who are locked in an argument. Still, with a proper heart and the Holy Spirit's guidance, it can be done.
From a devotion originally written for "By the Way"
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, forgiving is hard. Thank You for the forgiveness You have given us through Your Son. Now I ask the ability to share with others that which You have so generously and graciously given to me. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries