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Debt Canceled

Forgiveness Grace Debt

Source: https://www.usatoday.com

Link to Source: Click here to view source

Contributed By: Charles Schuyler | Date Posted: 2019-09-15

Scripture: Romans 6:23 ; Ephesians 2:8

Author: Charles Schuyler
4

ILLUSTRATION

Back in August of 2019, Chase Bank did something for its Canadian credit cardholders that is unprecedented; it completely and utterly wiped their debt away!  Isn’t that amazing?!  Especially when you consider the fact that there had to be some customers that had maxed out their card. 

Can you imagine what some felt like when they got the letter from the Chase Bank?  Some may have thought it was the bank coming down hard on them, only to find out that their record had been cleared!   

APPLICATION

What would that feel like?  Can you imagine it?  It shouldn’t be hard for us to imagine, right?  For we have, by faith, received the grace of God extended to us through the Lord Jesus Christ.  By His sacrifice, we are completely and utterly forgiven.  Our debt to a holy God has been completely wiped clean! 

A Second Chance Isn't Always A Great Thing

Second Chances Justice Forgiveness

Source: News Story

Link to Source: Click here to view source

Contributed By: Thomas Bevers | Date Posted: 2018-09-14

Scripture: Matthew 18:21 ; Jonah 2:1

Author: Thomas Bevers
5

ILLUSTRATION

Shayna Hubers thought she was getting a new shot at life when a judge overturned her conviction of murder and ordered a new trial after it was discovered that one of the jurors was a convicted felon, something Kentucky law doesn't allow. She had been convicted of murdering her boyfriend but claimed she shoot him 6 times in self-defense. The conviction came with a 40-year sentence.

At the second trial, she took the stand in her own defense, something she had not done the first time. However, there was video of her alone in an interrogation room dancing around and saying, "I did it, I did it." After deliberating only 5 hours, a jury of her peers found her guilty, again. Unfortunately, the recommendation from the jury was not 40 years, but LIFE!

She probably wishes this was a second chance she had never received. 

APPLICATION

What good is a second chance at justice if you're guilty? But isn't it good to know that God's idea of a second chance involves the complete forgiveness of our sins?

"Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, 'Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?' Jesus answered, 'I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times'" (Matthew 21:21-22). 

Look What You Made Me Do

Revenge Forgiveness Anger

Source: Contextive, by Major Dalton, August 30, 2017

Link to Source: Click here to view source

Contributed By: Major Dalton | Date Posted: 2017-10-29

Scripture: Proverbs 19:11 ; Romans 12:17

Author: Major Dalton
4

ILLUSTRATION

It’s been three long, silent, years, but Taylor Swift is back with new music, and apparently a new approach to career and conflict.

In the opening weekend, the first single from her new album Reputation, was downloaded over 184,000 times on iTunes. The song set a new global first-day record on Spotify with over 8 million streams. And that was all before the music video debuted at the MTV Video Music Awards.

The video was a sensation. According to YouTube, “Look What You Made Me Do” was played more than 43.2 million times in the first 24 hours, the largest one-day sum for any video. It was viewed some 30,000 times every minute.

In the song, Swift seems to be punching back at some, or perhaps all, of her combatants.

The world moves on, another day, another drama, drama
But not for me, not for me, all I think about is karma
And then the world moves on, but one thing’s for sure
Maybe I got mine, but you’ll all get yours

But I got smarter, I got harder in the nick of time
Honey, I rose up from the dead, I do it all the time
I’ve got a list of names and yours is in red, underlined

Millions have now mused about who is the “you” in Swift’s “Look What You Made Me Do.” Who forced her hand, who ignited such vengeful energy, who gave birth to such a dark persona? A better way to ask the question, a more honest approach, is to ask, who has become an authority over her emotions?

APPLICATION

In moments of clarity, moments free of the haze of conflict, we know that, when it comes to areas of personal choice, no one makes us do anything. We alone are responsible for our actions and the accompanying consequences.

Retaliation, retribution, and revenge are the tones which pour out of this new emanation of Taylor Swift. Emotions which seem to gush out involuntarily. In Taylor’s view, she is not really responsible for what happens next. She is the agent of anger, but not the cause. She is simply reacting to the actions of others, a fact which she repeats 36 times in her four-minute declaration of defiance: “Look what you made me do. Look what you made me do.”

Bitterness is a chain of bondage that essentially makes us a slave to the actions of others. Perhaps this is why Solomon taught his son: “Good sense makes one slow to anger, and it is his glory to overlook an offense” (Proverbs 19:11).

Near the end of the video, Swift stands victorious over that heap of previous personas. One of these choreographed characters had taken a different approach to conflict during Swift’s last album, 1989. It was a much more liberating approach. She’s the one who sang:

I never miss a beat, I’m lightning on my feet
And that’s what they don’t see, that’s what they don’t see
I’m dancing on my own, I make the moves up as I go
And that’s what they don’t know, that’s what they don’t know

But I keep cruising
Can’t stop, won’t stop grooving
It’s like I got this music in my mind
Saying it’s gonna be alright

Cause the players gonna play, play, play, play, play
And the haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate, hate
Baby, I’m just gonna shake, shake, shake, shake, shake
I shake it off, I shake it off

Heartbreakers gonna break, break, break, break, break
And the fakers gonna fake, fake, fake, fake, fake
Baby, I’m just gonna shake, shake, shake, shake, shake
I shake it off, I shake it off

Some people don’t have our best interest in mind. They will inevitably mistreat us, misuse us, and malign us. We can’t avoid them. We can’t evade the pain. But we can choose who has authority over us. We can’t control them, but we can control us.

Don’t let them make you do anything. Shake it off! Let them do what they do. Let them say what they say. You live free! You do you!

Spite Is Always A Bad Investment

Revenge Forgiveness Retribution

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2017-06-19

Scripture: Matthew 5:39

Author: Illustration Exchange
7

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The Protracted Replay Of Bitterness

Forgiveness Bitterness Motivation

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2017-01-07

Scripture: Ephesians 4:26

Author: Illustration Exchange
7

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The Lost Cause

Grace Forgiveness God's Patience

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2016-05-14

Scripture: Matthew 18:21

Author: Illustration Exchange
7

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White Guilt

Shame Forgiveness Racism

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2016-03-23

Scripture: Galatians 3:28 ; Colossians 3:13

Author: Illustration Exchange
5

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Overcoming Evil With Good in Charleston, SC

Forgiveness Prejudice Love (Divine)

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2015-06-24

Scripture: Romans 12:21 ; 1 Corinthians 13:8

Author: Illustration Exchange
8

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Bitterness Quotes

Bitterness Resentment Forgiveness

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2015-05-28

Scripture: Various

Author: Various
6

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Just Shy of Genuine Repentance

Repentance Excuses Forgiveness

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2015-04-26

Author: Dr. Larry Crabb
5

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