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Psalm 32, The Joy of Forgiveness


Forgiveness is not easy. And it is often misunderstood. For years I believed forgiving someone meant letting them off the hook for something they did that truly required amending. But it’s not. Forgiveness is about recognizing that the scales of justice are imbalanced; someone did something wrong, and it is not ok. At the same time, forgiveness is about allowing the scales to remain unbalanced – perhaps to know the infraction might never be amended – but to live in harmony with one’s self and others despite the imbalance. Forgiveness is saying the offense is not ok, but I’m willing to let go of my anger, my hatred, and my resentment and live peacefully (with or without the other person still in my life – with or without an apology). Once we truly understand that forgiveness is more about me than about the person I resent, the act of forgiving becomes a little bit easier.

Forgiveness is not a once-and-done behavior. For some offenses, forgiveness is a choice each and every day – a decision upon waking not to let the offense derail my day, my attitude, my behaviors. It is work, and it is never finished. But it does come more easily with time and practice.

Psalm 32

Happy are those whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered.

Happy are those to whom the Lord imputes no iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no deceit.

While I kept silence, my body wasted away through my groaning all day long.

For day and night your hand was heavy upon me; my strength was dried up as by the heat of summer. Selah

Then I acknowledged my sin to you, and I did not hide my iniquity; I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord,” and you forgave the guilt of my sin. Selah

Therefore let all who are faithful offer prayer to you; at a time of distress, the rush of mighty waters shall not reach them.

You are a hiding place for me; you preserve me from trouble; you surround me with glad cries of deliverance. Selah

I will instruct you and teach you the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you.

Do not be like a horse or a mule, without understanding, whose temper must be curbed with bit and bridle, else it will not stay near you.

Many are the torments of the wicked, but steadfast love surrounds those who trust in the Lord.

Be glad in the Lord and rejoice, O righteous, and shout for joy, all you upright in heart.

Earlier Event: September 5
Exodus 34:1-9, Moses Makes New Tablets
Later Event: September 7
Mark 2:1-12, Jesus Heals a Paralytic