My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. 1 John 2:1
Every once in a while I get a letter from a person who is not satisfied with our devotions.
Most of the time those letters are caring, compassionate and point out an oversight on my part. They truly are appreciated. On the other hand, there is that occasional letter which is more like "Your mother wears combat boots and you don't have the sense God gave grass."
For a long time I wondered just how I should respond to the writers of those letters.
I found some good advice when I read the story of a slandered man who asked his friend, a friend who was a reporter for a newspaper, how he should reply to someone who had made fun of him in print.
The newspaperman said, "Don't do anything.
· Half the people who bought the paper never saw the article.
· Half of those who saw it did not read it.
· Half of those who read it did not understand it.
· Half of those who understood it did not believe it.
· And half of those who believed it really never were your friends."
It's good advice and in following this advice I learned to try and ignore what had been unfairly said. Trying to ignore things was the best I could do.
But Jesus didn't just ignore the sins we committed against Him. He didn't just pretend our transgressions didn't hurt.
Centuries before, Isaiah promised this: "He was wounded for our transgressions; He was crushed for our iniquities; upon Him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with His stripes we are healed" (Isaiah 53:5).
Isaiah was right. Jesus invested His entire life in winning our complete and total forgiveness. He lived, suffered and died so we might be declared innocent of any and all wrongdoing.
Now it's our privilege to tell others of Jesus' love, a love that doesn't ignore sin, it erases it.
From a devotion originally written for "By the Way"
THE PRAYER: Father, help us to forgive others as You have forgiven us. This I ask in Jesus' Name. Amen.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries