“Johnny,” scolded the small boy’s mother, “your face is clean but how did you manage to get your hands so dirty?”  “Washing my face,” replied Johnny.  Little Johnny didn’t use soap. Try as we might, there are certain things we alone can’t wash ourselves from.  The dirt seems to go from one place to another.  Sin is like that.  You can blame others for the sinful things that you do or have been done to you, but the sin never gets completely washed clean that way.  The only soap good enough to completely cleanse our conscience is the blood of Christ.

I’ve heard people say the words, “I will never forgive him for what he did to me.”  Maybe you have uttered words like that yourself.  On the other hand, perhaps you feel you have done something so wrong that God would never forgive you.

There is a movie I’ve thought about watching several times, but for some reason have never gotten around to it.  I don’t know much about it except the title: Unforgiven.  Many people, Christians even, don’t feel forgiven; in fact it has been said that 75% of the people who are in mental hospitals would be released today if they knew they were forgiven.

People are talking a lot about forgiveness today.  Study after study reveals that when people forgive others, the forgiver is left with peace and good mental and physical health.  Maybe for that reason alone, one should learn to forgive.  There is another reason to forgive as well.  Jesus said that if we forgive others from our heart, God will forgive us; if we don’t forgive others from our heart, neither will God forgive us.  Since forgiveness brings health to us mentally, physically and eternally, it’s a pretty good idea to learn to forgive others.

Oh, and next time you wash, use soap.