Episode 301: I’m Talkin. . .Forgiveness

I’m Talkin’, episode 301 for January 21st, 2024.

This is Joel from the I’m Talkin’ microcast, where I share my thoughts on a topic that has piqued my interest this past week.

This week we’re talking forgiveness.

I know that forgiveness is not a church word, which is what I’m supposed to be doing at the beginning of this year, but an event happened in the past weeks that has really ripped at my family, and I want to talk about it a little bit without getting too specific, and I’m also going to throw in some discussion about grace.

Now those two words, forgiveness and grace, are not words that the world does not know.

They understand what they mean, they may look at them a little different than we do as Christians, but to us as Christians, those two words, forgiveness and grace, are just so important in our walk with Jesus Christ, and therein lies the challenge for those of us who call ourselves Christians.

The past days have been quite tough for my family, especially my daughter.

As the assistant athletic director at a Christian school, there was an egregious thing that happened, and I don’t want to go into too much detail, but it has to do with coaches and players, actually a single coach and a single player, and if you pay attention to the news, you may see something about this story, but the reality is that a Christian man did something that should not be done.

I often tell people that sin is not ranked, that any sin keeps you out of heaven, but that is just a simple perspective, because there are things that occur that rank, and they may not mean a lot in God’s eyes, but I think they do, and any little sin can keep us away from God, but major sin can land us in trouble in the real world, and not only in God’s eyes.

As a Christian, when an acquaintance, in my daughter’s case a co-worker, almost a friend, someone that I have set beside to cheer at sporting events, someone that my daughter has known and championed in her role as assistant athletic director, and someone who my wife has hugged and shared stories with, when that person, claiming the name of Christ, falls so horribly, it rips at the heart of those of us who call ourselves Christians.

Our reaction, unfortunately, is very much like that of the world around us.

We don’t understand how people can do the things that they do, and knowing they are Christians.

We don’t understand their thought process.

It is baffling beyond words.

It is ungraspable, and maybe I’ve made up a new word there, but you don’t want to even think about that person.

You don’t think good thoughts.

You don’t think bad thoughts.

You hope to get it out of your mind, but it is something that is going to linger.

This is not a story that ends because of a single event, maybe an arrest or whatever it is.

This is a story that has lasting consequences.

As Christians, we often forget about forgiveness and grace, which is why it’s been on my mind.

Forgiveness is actually kind of easy when you’re a Christian and you’re talking about the non-Christian world, because you know they don’t get it.

Grace is often easy as a Christian when you’re talking about the non-Christian world, because you absolutely know that they don’t know Jesus Christ, and therefore, they don’t understand the sin that is being committed.

Not all, but many that we deal with, many of the unsaved people that we deal with.

It’s not egregious things, and forgiveness and grace can be something that we apply to those situations.

And then when we are personally hurt through a small event of some kind, or a Christian doing something that we had wished they hadn’t done to us, we can often find it in our hearts through what Christ has done for us to practice forgiveness and grace.

But when an egregious sin happens that tears at the very fabric of society, not to mention the fabric of Christianity, that rips at your heart, that tears at your soul, that is so deep that it’s hard to grasp, we often let forgiveness and grace fall off the edge of our plate.

And we want maximum penalties, and we want maximum pain, and we want people to pay for those types of activities.

And we are not interested in forgiveness and grace, and it’s so hard when it’s someone who has claimed the name of Christ, and yet, that is what we are called to do.

It is our responsibility to be like Jesus.

And what does He do?

He doesn’t let things go.

He doesn’t brush things under the rug, or sweep them under the rug.

He doesn’t act like sin is not real, but He does offer forgiveness and grace.

And we as Christians need to do the same, especially to our Christian brothers and sisters.

We need to recognize that God is God, and we are not.

And how He handles a given situation is up to the sovereignty that He owns alone.

And we have to find some way in our hearts, in our souls, in our every core, to learn to forgive and offer grace to a Christian brother who has fallen so drastically that it tears at the very fabric of who we are.

I wish I had an answer for how to do that.

You have to be praying.

You have to be in God’s Word.

You have to know that God is in control, and that He works all things together for good for those who love Him.

And that’s not cliche.

I absolutely believe that, because it’s straight out of the Word of God.

So I challenge you, I challenge me, I challenge us as Christians, those who call on the name of Christ, to find out how Jesus, when hanging on the cross said, Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.

Until next week, this is Joel from the I’m Talking Microcast.