Sunday, 4 September 2011
from this morning's sermon: the toffee analogy....
Imagine someone gives you a lovely piece of sweet creamy toffee... you want to save it, to savour it, to fully appreciate it. So you decide to keep for a special occasion – when you really need a lift.
So it goes into your handbag, or your pocket. And there it stays; waiting until you feel the time is right.
But toffee is a funny thing. Store it in a box or a tin away from other substances and you know it starts to get sticky.
Store it in a pocket or your bag and not only does it get sticky- it gets covered in stuff – bits of grit and dust; old hankies and whatever else is lurking down there...
Eventually you try to eat the sweet, sweet confection – but the toffee is no longer the lovely gift you received. It has become dirty, contaminated... not at all nice. Somewhere at the heart the sweetness remains... but toffee needs to be given fresh... just like forgiveness
If we hold onto forgiveness – do not give it out until we feel the time is right (feel it has been fully earned) – it too becomes contaminated – it attracts bitterness, resentment, hostility and it damages a relationship – sometimes beyond repair.
So if someone has offended you – what should you, I, we do?
What would Jesus do?
He would take the brother who caused offence, and gently, firmly bring him home
He would encourage us to forgive, forgive and forget – to taste the sweet, sweet gift of forgiveness.
Given and received!