The TRUE Meaning of Forgiveness – An Ultimate Example


By now, you’ve probably heard of Mo’Ne Davis and her stunning rise to stardom as the pitcher for a little league team in the world series.  Recently, a young man who played baseball for Bloomsburg University, made a statement on Twitter that is too vulgar to repeat on a Christian blog, but needless to say, you would be picking your jaw of the floor after reading what he stated.

The university promptly kicked Joey Casselberry, the player in question, off the team.

Mo’Ne had every right to be upset.  What was said about her shouldn’t be said about anyone, much less a teenager.

But do you know what she did?  She wrote a letter to the university, and it says this:

Dear Dr. Soltz (the President of the university),

I am writing about the Tweet sent out by your baseball player, Joey Casselberry, and his dismissal from the team because of it. While I admit I was pretty hurt when I read his comments, I felt sad that he was dismissed from the team. As many people know, my dream is to play college basketball and maybe even professionally. I know how much hard work and dedication it will take to get there, and to have that dream taken away would be heartbreaking.  I am sure Joey Casselberry has worked very hard to get where he is and dreams of playing in the major leagues. For this reason, I’m asking you to please allow him back on the team so that he can continue to chase his dream. He made one dumb mistake. I’m sure he would go back and change it if he could. We all make mistakes and deserve to be forgiven. I hope you will give him a second chance and allow him to play.

Mo’Ne Davis

You know what, I’ve made dumb mistakes before.  We all have done things that we shouldn’t have done.  I find it refreshing to see someone who not only forgave the offender, but came to the defense of the defender.  What a lesson to learn from a 13 year old girl.

A lot of us may say we forgive someone, but we want their heads for what they did to us.  Forgiveness accompanied with actions such as that is not real forgiveness.  What if Jesus said “Father, please forgive them, for they don’t know what they’re doing,” but then followed that with “But in 3 days when I rise from the dead, I’m going to make sure each person that mocked me, beat me, spit on me, or drove a nail in my hands – is dealt with in a swift and proper way.”

We say things like “Well, in the business world, if this happened…” – but you know what?  I don’t think Jesus meant “Forgive others, but then treat them like the business world would treat them.”

Maybe we all need to learn a lesson from Mo’Ne.  If someone says their sorry, no matter how vile or tame their words may be – we forgive, and truly forgive, and move on.  No need to be like the Queen of Hearts with a “Off with their heads” mentality.

Mo’ne Davis

The Forgiveness Conundrum


I’m a big believer in forgiveness. If you look at some of the strongest leaders in the Bible – they are people who experienced great sin, AND great forgiveness. All of us have the opportunity to be forgiven by God, like those spiritual giants in the Bible. David, Peter, Paul, just to name a few – did things that most of us would say “Maybe I can forgive them, but they’ll have to move on elsewhere for what they’ve done.”

And that’s the rub isn’t it? We want to forgive people, with conditions attached. I’ll forgive you, but you have to do this, this, and this.

I’m in the middle of a great book by Dennis McCallum entitled “Satan and His Kingdom: What the Bible Says and How it Matters to You.” In a chapter of the book entitled “Battling Satan Inside Your Church” the author gives a quote that smacked me upside the head. It says this:

“‘Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others’ (Colossians 3:13). Anyone means ‘everybody minus nobody.’ This is explicit language ruling out all excuses. Paul qualifies it even further, saying that our forgiveness should be ‘just as the Lord forgave you’ ( NASB ). And we know the forgiveness we receive in the finished work of Christ is absolute and all- encompassing. Even when our attitude is poor, Jesus’ death provides for our complete forgiveness.”

Wow. Let’s break this down a bit.

Anyone means “everybody minus nobody” – Don’t we tend to be more forgiving towards some and less forgiving towards others? They’ve never messed up before, so maybe I’ll be more lenient toward them. They really insulted my ego, so I’m not going to be as forgiving toward them. That’s not how it goes. Anybody means everybody minus nobody.

Our forgiveness should be “Just as the Lord forgave you.” – Jesus doesn’t say “I forgive you, but I can’t work with you any longer.” Jesus doesn’t say “I forgive you, but when judgement day comes, I’m going to put you in a different part of heaven because of what you did.” Jesus doesn’t say “I forgive but will never forget.” Thank goodness Jesus doesn’t put such conditions on his forgiveness. Jesus simply forgives, and moves on.

The forgiveness we receive is absolute and all-encompassing. – We really tend to have a problem with this don’t we? The conditions we place on our forgiveness take away the “absolute and all-encompassing” part, doesn’t it? We are completely forgiven. Can you completely forgive others?

Even when our attitude is poor, Jesus’ death provides for our complete forgiveness. – This tells me, that even if the person who offended you may not ask, may not care, or goes out and does the same thing again the next day – we provide forgiveness. If you go to the verse in Colossians 3:13 where it says “Make allowance for each other’s faults” you go in knowing this…WE WILL ALL MESS UP. We should anticipate it. We should expect it.

Think about the people who have wronged you. Have you forgiven them? How have you forgiven them? Are there self-imposed conditions attached? Is there a “I forgive but won’t forget” clause attached? Free yourself of those things – forgive, forget, move on. Not only will you bless their life in immeasurable ways, you may just do the same for yourself.

Today I praise God for forgiving me without condition. He just forgives.

The Automobile Warranty and Jesus Connection

“As far as the east is from the west,

so far has He removed our transgressions from us.”

Psalm 103:12

Today, my wife’s car spent the day in the shop with a blown compressor and condenser.  This was an $1800 repair we had done just back in September of 2010, and it broke again on her on the way home yesterday.  With the Houston heat reaching 105 degrees in the summer, with the humidity at 110%, its obvious that it needs to be fixed.  Fortunately, the warranty covered the problem.  It was fixed 7 months ago, worked well for 7 months, and broke down again.

Kristen and I don’t have $1800 to throw at a broken AC unit every 7 months.  Its just not possible.  But that warranty really helped out.  The part is usually warrantied for 12 months/12,000 miles, however, our mechanic at First Tire and Automotive in Sugar Land, TX doubles the manufacturers warranty on all their repairs.  I wasn’t aware of this last night when I drove the car over to leave it.  I was worried, because even though we were within the 12 month time frame, we had driven 11,985 miles since the original repairs were done.  Not knowing about the doubling of the warranty sent me in a tizzy last night.

All I could think about was what we were going to do.  Were we going to have to fork over another $1800?  Would we just need to sell the car and get something else?  I started to panic, because we just don’t have the money to do either one of those things.  Imagine my relief this morning when the mechanic called and told me that the damage was covered under the warranty.  The best thing was that this warranty was free with my decision to go this particular mechanic.  Better yet, today he told me that if it happened again, that even though the warranty is from the original date of work, they would help in any way they could.

I sat at home all day today, since I had no car to go to the office.  I thought a lot about my life.  I’m covered under an eternal warranty given to me by God.  Its not something I paid for.  In fact, he paid for it himself.  All I had to do was accept it.  Thank goodness God has given me that gift.

I’ve screwed up a lot in my life.  I’ve done a lot of things that I’m not proud of.  I’ve acted in ways that many people would question whether or not I truly was a child of God.  When I start to stray away from God, I feel broken down.  I feel like all my “parts” just aren’t working right.  That’s when I remember that all I have to do is approach the throne of God and seek forgiveness.  He then does a complete system flush, and takes care of those sins.

The great thing about it is, however, that these sins aren’t recorded into a computer where he can go and check to see how long that forgiveness is good for.  As the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us!  Hallelujah!   This verse just describes it ALL!   It is just so awesome that God will forget everything we have done if we just ask Him to. I remember in the past when so called “friends” would hurt me or turn their back on me.  I know i have forgiven them, but I haven’t forgotten what they did.    That‘s a hard thing for us to do.  But God, He forgives and forgets like it never happened. we can let guilt build up in our human minds and continually ask for forgiveness,  but God says, “Forgive what?  I don’t remember any sin.“  I am so overwhelmed by His amazing love for everyone of us no matter how much we have messed up!  God is awesome!