Forgiveness actually changes things. It’s more than an ancient truth penned in dusty religion books.
It is meant to experience. To breathe. To live and give. To change situations. To change relationships. To change our church. To change our community. To change you.
There is one kind of joy when unwrapping a gift. It’s the anticipation, and the confidence that it is ours even though we didn’t earn it. Then there’s another kind of joy actually opening up the box, seeing what the gift is and using it, putting it on, posting a picture of it on Instagram.
Forgiveness changes many things and one of them is more joy than guilt. We’re opening a gift and we’re glad! Then we say and do things differently, like Zacchaeus, a crooked businessman forgiven by Jesus.
Business for him changed. He announced, “Look, Lord! Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount” (Luke 19:8).
Grab a container of soapy liquid sold in a little fun-colored plastic container. Usually called bubbles but also known as super bubbles or magic bubbles or fun bubbles. There’s a plastic wand thing inside the container. Now just hold it. Look at it. Appreciate it. It’s a happy thing, right? Yes but wait.
Pull the wand out now. Dripping with the liquid. And blow. Do it again! Blow! More. Again! Fill the room with bubbles!
There is a difference between casually observing soapy liquid and joyfully blowing bubbles. Blowing bubbles changes things. Kids flock and happily scream. Dogs jump and bark their approval. And, at least for a moment, the attention of adults can shift from duty to delight.
There is a difference between casually knowing forgiveness and joyfully experiencing the change of forgiveness. Both are a gift. Open them.
Have a bubbly day of God’s grace!
PRAYER: Dear Jesus, you give me every reason to live with more joy than guilt. Keep convincing me that guilt is not a home where I must live, but a visitor who knocks on my door. Help my joy to greet guilt kindly, then send it on its way and live more joyfully because it is gone. Amen.
FURTHER MEDITATION: Forgiveness that saves you is forgiveness that changes you. Like Zacchaeus. Can you think of other people in the Bible where this happened? How has this happened to you in the last 30 days? How would you like it to happen in the next 30 days?