This last summer my family and I took a vacation to the upper peninsula and we were at the National shoreline on the southern edge of Lake Superior up there, enjoying the view on the beach when all of a sudden this rock came whizzing by me. I almost got hit by this kid who is throwing some pretty good sized rocks.
I simply turned around and told the kid to be careful he might have hit me. Then I started walking away. Little did I realize that that little boy’s mother was chasing after me with him wanting him to apologize to me. And so I turned around and the boy said to me “sir, I’m so sorry that I threw that rock.” And I responded to the boy by saying “I forgive you.”
It took that mother by surprise. She was surprised that I would have said “I forgive you.” Yes, it was a big deal, he could have hurt me, but he didn’t. So why did I say “I forgive you?” It stunned her.
It’s important for us to hear those words isn’t it? “I forgive you.” Even when we’ve done something little. Maybe that person doesn’t think it’s that big of a deal we need to hear them tell us that we are forgiven. That things are right with them again.
When Jesus was speaking one day inside of a house a man was lowered down from the ceiling right before the eyes of everyone there. His friends were hoping that Jesus would heal him, but Jesus’ first thing that he said to the man was this. From Matthew chapter 9 verse 2.
Take heart son! Your sins are forgiven.
That was the most important thing that he needed to hear. That his sins were forgiven. I forgive you. It is so important for us to hear from God to know that we are right with him. For God to not simply say “Oh that’s no big deal, don’t worry about it,” but for us to know everything’s going to be OK. Because God has taken away our sin he forgives us.
So I encourage you in your own life. Maybe when somebody does something just small and there in your mind maybe it doesn’t seem that big of a deal, when they apologize, tell them: “I forgive you.”
Such an important phrase isn’t it? A comforting one to know that our sins are taken away. Especially know that we are forgiven by God. Amen.