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Leave It to Beaver was a popular television show back in the ‘60s. Most of you reading this article probably remember watching it. For those of you who are not familiar with it, there was this young kid who every week seemed to be able to get into trouble and then to get out of it and move on in life, giving all of us a good lesson in decision making. The reruns continue on cable television until this day.
In one of the episodes, the Beaver and his dad went into the garage of their home. Beaver asked his dad, “What makes cans rust?” His dad, who always seemed to know the answers for everything said, “Because of oxidation.” The Beaver’s follow-up question was, “Well, why don’t they make cans out of wood then?” The dad explained that wood rots. The Beaver with brilliant insight for a young kid said, “There seems to be something wrong with just about everything.”
Without question, you can just about apply his analysis to everything in our world and especially in human relationships. Cans do rust, wood does rot and people are imperfect. The Bible says it so clearly in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” Just to take that one simple verse and understand what God has revealed to us gives us remarkable insight into every human relationship and every issue that we may face.
All have sinned. For most of us, the word sin would immediately bring forth ideas of wrong doing, meanness and sometimes despicable behavior. The word itself means to miss the mark or to take the wrong road. When you miss God’s perfect mark for your life, you will immediately experience the consequences of wrong decision making, but it does not stop there. The waves of our wrong doing will affect those around us, those we love and those we may not even know. We sinned, went in the wrong direction and disobeyed God.
To look at that even more closely is to come to the realization that while everyone of us has sinned, everyone that we know has sinned. This means that everyone that we know at some point or another will probably disappoint us. Everyone we know will be disappointed by us at some point. Now if that sounds depressing to you, you are exactly right. It is depressing because as the Beav correctly said, “There seems to be something wrong with just about everything.”
That certainly applies to people. The more you think about it the more dismal the world becomes because you have not only sinned one time but maybe dozens, hundreds, and thousands of times as you think a wrong thought in your mind, say the wrong thought with your lips, go the wrong direction with your life, and then exponentially begin to see how that affects you in a multiplicity of ways and everybody you know.
My friend, here is the good news. Soon Easter will be here, and it is much more than just a story about a man who lived, died, and then arose from the dead. It is a story that envelops all of us in that God has made provisions for us to be forgiven of our brokenness, our rustiness, our rottenness, and all of our sinfulness. We can be forgiven by the great God who created us. Just think about Jesus hanging on the cross, taking our sins upon Himself and suffering for our wrong. He looked out across the panoramic view of people in front of Him and spoke of those who had just done Him wrong. They had made the wrong decision, done the wrong thing, and nailed Him to the cross. Jesus said, “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34).
His words are not just Easter time words. They echo through life every day down every corridor of life as God says He will forgive us. Today you can be forgiven and not for just one sin that may stand out, but you can be forgiven for all of your sins that have corrupted your life. But don’t stop there! God Almighty not only provides forgiveness for us, He enables us to forgive. There is a glorious possibility in every one of us to experience in almost euphoric waves the forgiveness of God to the depths of our lives.
God then enables us to be forgiving to people who have done wrong, to people who have done us wrong, to people who have failed, sputtered, broken down, and gone miles down the wrong roads of life. We can forgive them. Have you ever known someone who could not forgive? Maybe a better question would be who would not forgive. By His power we can all be enabled to forgive even as He forgave us. When you are forgiven, it is a glorious experience. When you forgive that is also a glorious and incredible experience.
Maybe today you have been holding on to a grudge or a hurt that came because you were mistreated, abused, or betrayed. It can happen in so many ways. All of these people around us can disappoint us and go on their dumb, decision making ways of disobeying God and hurting others. You may have been caught in the crossfire. So what have you done about the hurt that has come to you? Will you forgive? Will you let it go? Will you allow God to minister to your life, to bless you and to bless others?
It is Easter, and while we are mindful of His amazing gift of forgiveness toward us, would you look at His amazing forgiveness that He may want to exhibit through you? You will be blessed if you do.