When You’re Gobsmacked by Forgiveness

Forgiveness that happens when you least expect it, when it's complete undeserved . . . that what it means to be gobsmacke

Have you ever asked a five-year-old if they sin? How about a group of five-year-olds?

I have.

I asked my Parochial School Kindergarten Class early each year as we began talking about Jesus.

“If you’ve ever sinned raise your hand.”

Hands fidgeting in laps.

“If you’ve ever done anything wrong/bad raise your hand.”

Hands still fidgeting in laps.

“Did you obey your mom and dad this morning?”

A few heads slightly moving side to side while eyes darted toward new friends.

“Were you nice to your brothers and sisters last night?”

More heads moving.

“Do you ever say anything mean?”

All heads nodding.

“Those are all sins.”

It’s hard to admit we’re sinners isn’t it?
Even as adults we hate to admit our sins.
We prefer to look at the 10 Commandments and feeling pretty good about ourselves.

But the truth is . . . pretty good isn’t good enough.

 For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. Romans 3:23

John Piper says it this way:

“What is sin?
It is the glory of God not honored.
The holiness of God not reverenced.
The greatness of God not admired.
The power of God not praised.
The truth of God not sought.
The wisdom of God not esteemed.
The beauty of God not treasured.
The goodness of God not savored.
The faithfulness of God not trusted.
The commandments of God not obeyed.
The justice of God not respected.
The wrath of God not feared.
The grace of God not cherished.
The presence of God not prized.
The person of God not loved.
That is sin.”

I don’t know about you, but that list wrecks me;
and it doesn’t even include the things we do and
say to each other. Or things we neglect to do and say.

We look at the murder of 9 innocent church-goers and ask . . . why?
Beheadings in the Middle East and children shot at their seats in school.
Neighbor turning against neighbor and families in turmoil.
And we ask . . . “Why Lord, why?

Why can’t we just love each other?
Why do we compete and compare?
Why is there so much hatred?

And our Father answers:

“Because everyone has sinned.”

No one—that means you and me, no one loves the way God intended.

But we got a glimpse of it last week didn’t we?

“I forgive you,” Nadine Collier, daughter of victim Ethel Lance, said to Roof. “I will never talk to her ever again, never be able to hold her again. I forgive you and have mercy on your soul. You hurt me, you hurt a lot of people, but I forgive you.”

Alana Simmons, granddaughter of victim Daniel Simmons, also spoke to the suspect.

“Hate won’t win,” she said. “My grandfather and the other victims died at the hands of hate. Everyone’s plea for your soul is proof that they lived in love and their legacies live in love.”

And again I’m wrecked.

What’s the difference?

What makes it possible for love to triumph over hatred?

Greg Gutfeld said on Friday –
“That is the best example of what is good I’ve ever seen in my life. I’m not religious, but I see this and I can’t even begin to understand. Does religion make great people or do great people go to religion? I don’t know. All I know is what I saw. I can’t even understand. I can’t comprehend.
It’s so beyond me. So amazing. I’m gobsmacked!”

Gobsmacked by forgiveness.

It’s not religion.
It’s not what.
It’s WHO.

It’s Jesus.

Anyone can be made right with God by the free gift of His loving-favor. It is Jesus Christ. Who bought them with His blood and made them free from their sins. God gave Jesus Christ to the world. Romans 3:24–25

It’s the truth of the cross, where evil prevailed for a time.
So it would never have the power to win again.

True—evil horrible things happen.
But evil does not have to win.
Because of forgiveness. Because of love.

Stop and think about what God’s love has forgiven in you.

Who needs your forgiveness today?

Let Love win.

 This is what we have come to know. A man is made right with God by putting his trust in Christ. It is not by his doing what the Law says. Romans 3:28(NLV)

Are you a sinner?

Me too.

A sinner forgiven by God’s love.

Let’s forgive.

Let’s show the world how Love wins.


  1. Bill (cycelguy) says:

    I just worked this morning on Galatians 5: 16-25. The flesh and spirit in conflict. That conflict keeps reminding me of my sinfulness but also of God’s strength. i am not a loser. I serve the ONE who won. Sin still haunts me, for sure, but i also know I can win.
    Bill (cycelguy) recently posted..DeclarationMy Profile

  2. Astrid says:

    Yes- Love wins. And my kids are pretty out of touch with their stuff too. It’s hard to create a gentle awareness of wrongdoing without shame. Thanks for sharing on #RaRaLinkUp

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