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Wednesday, March 22, 2017

A Lenten Healing: 40 Graces for Forgiveness (Day 19: Sonship)

Jesus is the son of God. And he calls us his brothers and sisters. Therefore, we who accept Christ’s sacrifice on our behalf are also children of God.
The creator and sustainer and authority of the universe is my father. I can realistically say to anyone who puts me down for my relationship to God, “My dad can beat up your dad.”
In my position as Jesus’s sibling under God’s fatherhood, there are only four possibilities (I think) when I am in conflict with someone:
1. The other person is right with God, and I am not.
2. I am right with God, and the other person isn’t.
3. We are both right with God, but for different and mutually unrecognized reasons.
4. Neither of us is right with God.
In the first and last cases, I need to seek God, admit my fault, and be grateful for the course correction. God will never refuse to answer a question asked with sincerity and humility. The supplication, “What is your will in this?” will always get answered, if I really want the answer.
In the third case, I need humility to admit that I don’t always know what God is doing, nor do I need to know how someone else’s story is playing out. If I’m confident that I’m where God wants me to be, I don’t need to worry about where someone else is, unless they ask me to.
It’s the second case that gives me the most trouble, when I know that I’m on the right path, and it’s fairly obvious from scripture or wisdom or common sense that the other person isn’t. That’s where my (righteous) indignation flares up.
But why do I so desperately need the other person to recognize my rightness? I’m the daughter of God. I’m a princess, people. If my father—the King of the Freaking Universe—says I’m doing okay, why should my blood pressure surge even one point because some other Podunk person down here disagrees?
The situation shouldn’t come down to forgiveness at all, if I really think about it. Any offense is actually against God, and not against me. I’m just a kid, doing what Dad tells me to. He’ll step in with anyone who decides to throw down with me. I can just get along with my own business.

* * *
And demons also came out of many, crying, “You are the Son of God!”
– Luke 4:41

* * *

Wow, God. How freeing is that? I don’t have to justify myself, or convince anybody else that I’m right and they’re wrong. I may never know how or when you’ve dealt with someone who treated me in a wrong way—and it might not get dealt with till the next life—but it doesn’t matter. You’re the king, and I’m your kid. “And they lived happily ever after.” Teach me how to walk with that kind of nobility, knowing who I am in you, coupled with the humility that accompanies knowing exactly who I am compared to you.

40 Graces for Forgiveness: a Healing Journey is now available in print. $6.49 at

With questions for personal meditation and space for journaling, this 40-day devotional series offers a deeper look at Christ's command that we forgive. For a personal pilgrimage, or as a resource for group Bible study,40 Graces for Forgiveness: a Healing Journey invites seekers of forgiveness and healing to the path on which God longs to meet us all. $6.49 at Find out more about 40 Graces for Forgiveness: a Healing Journey.

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