Archive for June 5th, 2007

Forgive Me…

Tuesday, June 5th, 2007

Today’s scripture: 1 Chronicles 21:8-14 (NRSV) (The Message)

As you read, consider: What might God be saying to me in this passage? Summarize your thoughts in a sentence or two.

My thoughts (Theresa Benson):

Talk about having to choose between the lesser of evils!

When he realizes he’s made a mistake, David doesn’t hide from God. He admits the wrong he’s done, rather than stuffing it down inside, avoiding it, hoping he’ll “get away with it” and God won’t notice.

He chooses to live with integrity by admitting his fault and asking for forgiveness.

He knows there are going to be consequences for his action, but that doesn’t stop him from admitting he’s wrong. It’s a sign of maturity when one is able to step forward and accept responsibility for his or her action, no matter how large or small.

When he starts considering his options, you might see it as David trying to cop out a little bit — trying to choose the least negative impact at all. And who wouldn’t do that, if given a choice? But how true his statement is in verse 13, when he says, “I’d rather be punished by God whose mercy is great than to fall into human hands.”

With all the violence in the world today — the war crimes in Darfur, the heinous things that happened to women and girls during the Bosnian/Serbian conflict, the photos we saw of what happened at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq — we are bombarded every day with messages of how cruel we humans can be to each other.

God, who we sometimes see in the Old Testament demonstrating anger, is more often shown to have a tremendous capacity for mercy, as well. So while God’s punishment and the consequence for David’s action was swift and strong, it was also over almost as soon as it began.

Thoughts for the day:

  • When we make mistakes in our relationships, how quick and how often do we speak up and ask for forgiveness?
  • If we’re the ones being asked to forgive, do we behave as God did, and get over it quickly? Do we choose forgiveness, or is it just lip service? Do we want to see our transgressor punished again and again to prove somehow we were right and they were wrong?
  • If children are the ones who make mistakes in our families, do we explain the consequences of their actions or do we resort to shouting and spanking to get our message across?

We encourage you to include a time of prayer with this reading. If you need a place to get started, consider the guidelines on the How to Pray page.

"Be still, and know that I am God." Psalm 46:10
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