Most organ recipients would say their transplant was the perfect gift. It would be hard to argue with the life-saving donation; much like my golfing friend who received his new heart a few years ago. His transplant allowed him to return to an active, robust lifestyle. So grateful to the donor and the donor’s family, my friend now visits high schools telling his story and explaining the value of organ donation. Regrettably, someone had to die, so he could live. There is a Bible story with a similar end we should all be familiar with. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16) The stories are similar in that both died so that others could live, but they differ in the motive. The heart donation comes after death. If you were to ask the healthy person if they would give up their heart so someone else could live, they would very likely say no. The perfect gift is not the act of saving another's life by sacrificing yours. The value of a gift is not in the act of giving, but, in the motive for giving.
One day a defiant Peter asked Jesus how many times he had to forgive someone who was doing him wrong. Jesus was definitive with his answer. “Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, when someone won’t stop doing wrong to me, how many times must I forgive them? Seven times?” Jesus answered, “I tell you, you must forgive them more than seven times. You must continue to forgive them even if they do wrong to you seventy-seven times. (Matt. 18:21,22) In essence, Jesus was saying forgiveness is unlimited. Jesus ultimately practiced what he preached. While he was dying on the cross he reinforced the value of forgiveness. “Father, forgive these people,” Jesus said, “for they don’t know what they are doing. And the soldiers gambled for his clothing, throwing dice for each piece.” And the people stood beholding. And the rulers also with them derided him, saying, He saved others; let him save himself if he is Christ, the chosen of God. (Luke 23:33,34,35) The rulers Jesus referred too were religious elites consumed with power, yet, they didn’t understand the grace of God.
Forgiveness is the spiritual force that frees our spirit from the draining grip of hate, envy, and bitterness. Forgiveness is a spiritual law that will not fail. “And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you.”(Eph. 4:32) We, humans, are still neophytes when it comes to understanding spiritual principles. “ Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.”(2 Tim. 3:7) Forgiveness is a liberating law that will add years to your life, improve your attitude and brighten your outlook. Will you give the person that wronged you the perfect gift of forgiveness today and prove God? For more about liberating your life read “Beam me up Commander” it’s free!