He was surprised by Charlie’s reaction. He told Jonah he didn’t even remember the argument. He didn’t remember Jonah being mean. He had forgotten about the whole thing. Jonah was relieved and they’ve been inseparable ever since.
I think a lot can be learned from Charlie. You see, his focus was not on what Jonah did wrong. He knew Jonah’s heart and didn’t base his whole opinion on Jonah’s sin. He didn’t look at Jonah and only see his mistake. That is how Jesus looks at us after we sin. He doesn’t condemn us for one wrong move. He doesn’t focus on our mistake. Our sin is always an avenue to grace and forgiveness. Somehow we miss this with others and with ourselves.
I’m reading the story of Saul. David hasn’t entered the story, but in my reading today Samuel told Saul that God has chosen”a man after his own heart” to be king over Israel. God knew David’s heart. He knew David’s deepest desire was to love Him. That’s why he was chosen. God also knew the sin David would commit. But that didn’t stop him from choosing David. It didn’t keep Him from leading David to be a great warrior and king. Instead of condemnation, God focused on David’s heart.
I don’t know if it’s our sin nature or simply the subtle promptings of the enemy, but tend to focus on the negative. We condemn each other based on a single behavior or sin. We judge each other as if we ourselves have achieved perfection. We do it with our spouses. We do it with our children. We do it with our friends. And we do it with ourselves. If the enemy can keep us distracted with sin, then we are unable to concentrate on the Lord’s love.
“Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. (Romans 8:1 NIV)
Forgiving ourselves is one of the most difficult things to grasp. We forget that once we ask for forgiveness, God forgives. He doesn’t rehash it. He doesn’t constantly remind us. He doesn’t declare us unfit for His work or His kingdom. He simply forgives. So, why can’t we forgive ourselves? I think the enemy is right there reminding us of our mistakes and sins. I think he takes great delight in making us feel worthless. He works very hard to convince us we could never be used of God. But the truth is God uses sinners. He uses people who have messed up. He even chooses the least likely candidates to accomplish His purpose.
I don’t know where you find yourself today. But I hope you know, regardless of your sin, you are dearly loved. When God looks at you, He doesn’t see your sin, no matter how horrible, He only sees His cherished child.
“For you are a people, holy to the Lord your God. The Lord your God has chosen you out
of all the peoples on the face of the earth to be his people, his treasured possession.”
(Deut. 7:6 NIV)
(This blog has been on my heart for over a week. I finally sat down Saturday morning to write it out. I attended church Saturday night to hear my pastor preaching on grace and forgiveness. I pray those reading this will take God at His word and receive forgiveness.)
- When God Opens A Door…. (vineoflife.net)
- God’s Grace is Sufficient (joaynn510.wordpress.com)
- His Grace is Sufficient (yordzkie.wordpress.com)