The petition in the Lord’s Prayer I preached on Sunday was that our Father in heaven would “forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us.” The message showed me that the weight I carry around my waist isn’t what slows me down the most.
Hebrews 12:1 tells us:
especially the sin that so easily trips us up.”
I thought the topic of forgiveness was so important I started my Parenting class at Bethel University this week with a discussion of forgiveness. Afterward, I asked the students if it was worth the 15 minutes we spent talking about forgiveness in families. One student immediately responded, “It would have been worth spending 2 more hours talking about it.”
The object lesson for our children’s message on the power of forgiveness used a backpack and a bunch of rocks.
It seems fair enough that our own sins weigh us down. Unfortunately, as unfair as it is, other people’s sins weigh us down too. Other people’s damaging words and unkind actions weigh on our mind, heart, and soul. Some sins against us, be it abuse, betrayal, or neglect can feel like boulders we have to carry around.
How do we get rid of the weight of sin we commit? We empty out the rocks in our backpack with apologies and repentance. For disciples of Jesus, we give each rock to Him and accept His forgiveness.
How do we get rid of the weight of the sin committed against us? We forgive others as we have been forgiven. We don’t pretend the sins against us don’t matter, but we let go of the rocks. We give the weight of their sin to Jesus. We trust Him to carry the burden for us.
Sounds simple! But it isn’t easy. We need God’s help to do it. In our YouVersion devotional on the Lord’s Prayer the pastor says this regarding forgiving others:
“There is a big difference between struggling to forgive and refusing to forgive.”
I encourage you to accept the forgiveness of all of your sin offered by Jesus. Too many of us are carrying burdens through life we don’t have to. Lay down the weight.
And if you have accepted the gift of forgiveness of sin from Jesus, then be willing as best as you can with God’s help to forgive others as you have been forgiven. You might find yourself feeling a bit lighter.