Scripture Reading: Psalm 32:1-11
“Oh, what joy for those whose rebellion is forgiven, whose sin is put out of sight.” (Psalm 21:1 NLT)
Ernest Hemingway, a classic author, tells the story of a Spanish father and son who no longer spoke to each other. The father decided to reconcile with his son who had run away to Madrid. The remorseful father took out the following ad in the El Liberal newspaper, “PACO MEET ME AT HOTEL MONTANA NOON TUESDAY ALL IS FORGIVEN PAPA.”
At noon on Tuesday, the father went to the square where he found eight hundred young men named Paco waiting for the forgiveness of their fathers. Paco was a very common name in Spain. (Taken from After Thoughts, First Baptist of Orlando, Pastor Uth).
Wow! Can you imagine eight hundred young men yearning for forgiveness from their fathers? What could have been said to cause such disruption in their relationships? Were hurtful words spoken? I can hear the father saying, “You never do anything right!” or “You’ll never amount to anything!” or “You’re so stupid! And I can hear the son responding, “You just don’t understand!” or “Get off my back!” or “You are a jerk!” Words have a tremendous power to hurt.
Have you ever been hurt by words spoken in haste or in lan unkindly manner? Yes, we all have been guilty at some point in time. I have to confess that I have been guilty of hurtful words spoken out of anger and frustration. There is no excuse for my actions. I was thoughtless and rude. Countless children and adults are carrying around more hurt than God ever intended. Isn’t it time that we all learn how to forgive one another?
Forgiveness is not something that comes naturally. It takes some effort on our part to forgive. Pride has to be swallowed. Confession made. Healing begins when we learn to forgive ourselves the same way that God forgives us. Jesus commands us to love one another the same way that he loves us.
Think of those eight hundred young men gathered around the fountain waiting for forgiveness from their fathers. We all long to be forgiven, we long to be loved, and we long to be at peace with ourselves and others. God our Father longs to forgive us, to lavish his great love on us, and to bring us his peace.
Once we have made peace with God through Jesus Christ, we can enjoy the peace of God.
Prayer, Dear Lord, I ask you to guard my tongue so that I do not hurt others with my words.