Forgiveness Plus

Source :

"Please forgive me, Lord," prayed Andy one night at bedtime. "I didn't mean to run into Mrs. Allen's fence this afternoon. I . . . I guess I shouldn't have been cutting across her lawn, and I . . . I won't do it again. Please forgive me for breaking her rose bush, too. Thank You. Amen." He jumped up and climbed into bed, ready to be tucked in.

Andy's mother kissed him and covered him up. "Andy," she said, "you didn't say anything to me about Mrs. Allen's fence. What happened?"

Andy frowned. "Do I have to tell you?" he asked. "I already asked God to forgive me."

"Yes, and I believe you really are sorry, so God has forgiven you," Mom assured him, "but if you share what happened, I might be able to help you make amends."

"Make amends?" asked Andy. "What does that mean?"

"It means to make things right with someone. The Bible teaches that if our sin hurts somebody besides ourselves, we must do our best to make things right with that person, too," explained Mom. "God forgives the sin if we're truly sorry for it, but we're still responsible to do whatever we can to straighten out the situation. Perhaps you need to go see Mrs. Allen and apologize for what happened."

Andy was quiet for a few moments. "Yeah, I . . . I guess I do," he admitted finally. "She didn't see me stumble against her fence and knock it into her rosebush, but . . ." Andy hesitated. "Do I have to offer to pay for them with money from my bank?"

"What do you think?" asked Mom gently.

"Yeah." Andy sighed. "I think I do."

Mom nodded. "When you ask God's forgiveness for sin, your actions should show that you're truly sorry," she said. "I'm really glad you're willing to make things right with Mrs. Allen. I'm sure doing that will make you feel better, too."

How About You?
Has something you've done hurt someone else? In Old Testament times, an animal sacrifice had to be offered on an altar, and the situation had to be corrected. This often involved repayment of money or other goods. Because Jesus made the supreme sacrifice for sin, you no longer have to sacrifice animals. But the principle of making amends is still important. If you've wronged someone--even unintentionally--do all you can to make it right.

Today's Key Verse:
He shall make restitution (amends) for the harm that he has done.
(Leviticus 5:16)

Today's Key Thought:
Make things right