How many times do I forgive a brother or sister who mistreats me? Should I forgive them seven times? Jesus answers, “seventy-seven times.” Forgiving one seven times sounds reasonable to the average human being, the operative word in that phrase being “sounds.” But Jesus ups the amount. His point isn’t that we forgive someone exactly seventy-seven times and no more. Rather, our mercy and forgiveness is to be without end, since God’s mercy toward us for our sin is endless.
A young man came to my office and expressed his concern that he had committed the “unpardonable sin” and there was nothing he could do to be saved from eternal condemnation and judgment. Many believers have been troubled by the question, “Have I committed the unpardonable sin?” A proper understanding of the historical circumstances can…Continue reading What is the “Unpardonable Sin?”
A nose is a small thing, occupying relatively little real estate in the middle of your face. Not much to it—until it starts to bleed. How can such a small part of your body produce so much blood? It’s truly amazing. I know this because one of my daughters has started getting bloody noses on…Continue reading Bloodstains on White Sheets
I didn’t get along with the housekeeper very well. You’d think having a housekeeper would be great. Floors vacuumed, bathrooms cleaned, and bookshelves dusted, all while you’re out having fun. You come home, and everything’s done. Does it get any better than that? But my parents had a housekeeper for a while when I was…Continue reading Don’t Hide Your Laundry
One of my very favorite authors is Eugene Peterson. His recent memoir, The Pastor, goes to the heart of what it means to be a pastor. In one of his chapters, “Sister Genevieve,” Peterson recounts a friendship that emerged with the prioress of a Carmelite monastery, a place where fourteen nuns live the contemplative life. …Continue reading Deliver Us from Evil