Our Creator has given us many things that we classify like plants and animals which are divided by genus and species.
Our weather is classified by severity. Warnings and watches are issued based on the ferocity of the storm. The Fujita Scale is the official classification system for tornado damage ranking storms by classifying the devastation created. The more powerful the tornado, the higher the assigned number.
Hurricanes are measured in strength by the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale which determines how ferocious a storm can be by how intense the winds are within.
Quantifying and classifying weather is productive and the systems in place are often helpful when giving advanced notice of incoming natural disasters.
How many of us have our own scale for measuring the intensity of sin? Perhaps it’s the Fooljita?
Yes, we have the list of the 10 Commandments. But they are not listed in their 1-10 order by their intensity or the punishment they merit. If so, saying OMG is worse than Murder. Murder is less offensive than say, stealing or coveting.
There is no gauge for sin listed in the Bible, except for the 6 the Lord detests and the one he finds an abomination see below:
16 There are six things the LORD hates, seven that are detestable to him:
17 haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood,
18 a heart that devises wicked schemes, feet that are quick to rush into evil,
19 a false witness who pours out lies. And a man who stirs up dissension among brothers. (um..Gossip-just sayin’)
This does not mean that the ones listed in the Ten Commandments not mentioned here don’t matter, because Creator God himself wrote them on the tablets.
We often withhold forgiveness based on the “level” of offense committed against us. Jesus died for all sinners and their sins, not just certain sins. Often Christians ascribe their own fujita scale to offenses. We think that taking the Post It notes from the office isn’t as serious as Bernie Madoff’s $50 Billion Ponzi scheme. Both offenses are stealing. Both are sin. God is not determining which is worse, why should we?
In the parable of the talents, the master forgave the servant an unpayable debt. That servant turned around and demanded repayment of a debt owed him. When the master found out he sent the unforgiving servant to prison.
Matthew 6:14-15 is talking to believers it says:
14 For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.
Is there an unforgivable sin? The Bible doesn’t mention one that I can find. John Bevere in “The Bait of Satan “ study series talked about how the love in our hearts when we become saved is what equips us to be able to forgive. We have a choice we are equipped through the love that is deposited in us at the moment of our salvation. “A person who refuses to forgive is a person who has forgotten what he’s been forgiven of.” – JB.
The key to being forgiven by our Creator, is to forgive those that have committed offenses against us. Forgiveness means we release that individual to God to discipline. The “Bait of Satan” study makes it clear that a person who refuses to forgive will not inherit the kingdom of Heaven because they are living with unforgiveness which is a sin according the scripture.
Forgiving isn’t all about forgetting it is about releasing. Often people will say, “I can’t forgive them, because I can’t ever forget what they’ve done to me.” Forgiveness is not conditional of forgetting. Forgiveness is a choice, the forgetting is a detail God can work out, but only after a choice to forgive and release the offender.
Are you wrestling with unforgiveness and an unproductive prayer life? Hint: They are connected.
Point to Ponder: Is there someone in your life you need to release and forgive? Is there someone you need to seek forgiveness of?
BTW: Thanks for your patience while we are under construction.
Be sure to change your RSS Feed as the blogger site will not be updated much longer.