God’s Forgiveness

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Contributed by John Hellmund, Elder Overseer of Finance at Image Church

The past couple weeks have been very taxing for my family.  A relative went missing, and the whole family was very concerned for their safety.  We all started praying and contacting anybody and everybody we knew to see if they had seen this relative and also to pray. 

To make a very long publicly nationalized story short, the family member was found and admits to being selfish and leaving their family.  I don’t mention this story to condemn the family member.  This has definitely been done by enough people.  I write this to tell how I felt. 

When I first found out they were found, I was so relieved.  This relief soon turned to anger.  I was thinking about how concerned the family was and not what this other relative was going through.  It made me think of the parable of the prodigal son in Luke 15 which most people are familiar with.  Here’s my abridged version of the parable:   A father had two sons.  The younger son asked his father for the portion of goods that would fall to him.  When the younger son received his goods, he went off to a far country and wasted all his money.  At this same time, a severe famine arose in the land.  He took a job feeding pigs and wished for the pods the pigs ate.

He turned aside his pride and made the decision to go back home and ask to be a servant in his father’s house so that he could survive.  As he is walking up to his home, his father ran out to him and hugged and kissed him.  He called a servant to get a ring to put on his hand and sandals for his feet.  A party was given for the son that was once lost, because he had returned home. 

Picking up the story at Luke 15:25-32 – “Now his older son was in the field.  And as he came and drew near to the house, he heard music and dancing.  26 So he called one of the servants and asked what these things meant.  27 And he said to him, ‘Your brother has come, and because he has received him safe and sound, your father has killed the fatted calf.’  28 “But he was angry and would not go in.  Therefore his father came out and pleaded with him.  29 So he answered and said to his father, ‘Lo, these many years I have been serving you; I never transgressed your commandment at any time; and yet you never gave me a young goat, that I might make merry with my friends.  30 But as soon as this son of yours came, who has devoured your livelihood with harlots, you killed the fatted calf for him.’  31 “And he said to him, ‘Son, you are always with me, and all that I have is yours.  32 It was right we should make merry and be glad, “for your brother was dead and is alive again, and was lost and is found.’”

This story was very convicting for me.  The initial concern for my family member quickly turned to anger like the older brother.  No longer was I concerned about the family member, I was only thinking about myself.  I had become the selfish one, concerned only about my feelings.    I made this an issue about me, when it had very little to do with me.  I had to confess this as sin and ask God for forgiveness.  Thankfully, God’s Word says in 1 John 1:9 – If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.  When we go to God and ask for forgiveness and repent, He will forgive us.  This is a great promise that we need to hold on to.  After getting over the anger and asking for forgiveness, I was back to truly being concerned for my relative’s well-being.    I continue to pray that they make the wise choice, seek God, repent and go back to their family.

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3 Responses to “God’s Forgiveness”

  1. mikescott92 Says:

    Good Post John.

  2. nate Says:

    Great example of both sides of the story. Thanks for keeping His word.

  3. chrisrhodenhizer Says:

    Truth, transparency, and trial!!!

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