One little lie. He had gone to a buddy’s house instead of the park as instructed and lied about it. His dad despised lying so much that he did not even use the word, “lie”. It was an “untruth” and discipline was in proportion with his disgust for the other word.
The young boy certainly learned his lesson and did not tell an untruth again. In spite of his confession and taking his licks, the family seemed to hold the incident over him with comments like, “You lied once. How can we trust you again?” The guilt button was used often to remind him of being a liar. Thoughts came to mind that maybe he would not have what it takes to be truthful in other dealings because he would always be a liar in his family’s eyes. He wondered what it would take to be forgiven.
Forgiven: “let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for He who promised is faithful.” – Hebrews 10:22-23. The popular comment is, “You may be forgiven but it will not be forgotten.” Fair enough because there are consequences for actions in this world and sometimes those consequences involve long-lasting repercussions. The lesson from the Hebrews passage is that when the guilt button is used intentionally by someone to hurt another, it is not of God. The Church is to be our great cloud of witnesses referenced in Hebrews 12 – “…let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, …” (Heb.12:1-2). One of the sins that so easily entangles is continued judgment after one confesses and seeks forgiveness. It may be our dad, another family member or someone in the church. The call is to draw near to God with a sincere heart, embrace forgiveness, be more forgiving and be Light where He has you.
Easter is the most significant time of year for a Christian. The spectra of emotions across Holy Week overwhelm – adulation from the people as Jesus rode into Jerusalem; confusion among the disciples at the last supper; anguish as Jesus prayed in the garden of Gethsemane, His sweat was like drops of blood; crowds shouting, “Crucify Him! Crucify Him!”; death on the cross; an empty tomb; and, Jesus appearing to Mary Magdalene on that first Easter morn. Wow - HE IS RISEN!
Prayer guide: Lord, thank You for enduring the cross and for walking out of the tomb. You are risen indeed! Help me embrace fully the forgiveness You offer and be more forgiving of others. As a Christian, in the power of the resurrected Christ and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit I am to “draw near to You with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having my heart sprinkled to cleanse me from a guilty conscience and have my body washed with pure water. Let me hold unswervingly to the hope I profess, for You who promised is faithful.” Thank You Jesus. Equip me to be Your Light to a whole new level in every situation, discussion and relationship in which You have me this Easter and beyond. Amen.
A faithful father grows every Easter as a brighter Light in this world.