The Sins You Never Committed

Story of the Day for Friday July 6, 2012 

The Sins You Never Committed

Then the Lord said to Moses . . . “Choose some towns to be your cities of refuge.” 

                                       Numbers 35:11

Chuck Swindoll tells the story about a Texas law firm. Every Thanksgiving the boss would set turkeys on the walnut table in the board room. Every attorney in the law firm stood around the table, and in turn, would pick up a turkey, say how grateful they were to work at the law firm, and how grateful they were for the turkey this Thanksgiving season.

But Swindoll explains how one young attorney has no use for a turkey. Besides having no idea how to cook one, he was single and didn’t need a whole turkey.

His co-workers understood this, so one year they replaced his turkey with one made out of paper mâché and weighted to make it feel like a real turkey.

On the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, the young attorney picked up his bird, announced how grateful he was to work at the firm, how thankful he was for his turkey, and went home.

He caught a bus and, with the large turkey on his lap, wondered what he was going to do with it. Just then a discouraged-looking man boarded the bus and sat next to him. The attorney learned the man had a large family but was out of work. He had spent the day job-hunting with no success.

The attorney saw his opportunity to do a good deed; he would give the man his turkey. But he didn’t want the man to feel like a beggar, so he asked him, “How much money do you have?”

He had less than three dollars.

The attorney said, “I’d like to sell you this turkey.”

The man was moved — thrilled that he could bring home a turkey for Thanksgiving. When the man got off the bus he waved to the attorney. “God bless you! Have a wonderful Thanksgiving. I’ll never forget you.”

Can you picture the man bursting through the front door? “Kids, you’ll never believe what a nice man I met today! Come here, look what I have.”

On Monday morning, the young attorney’s co-workers were dying to find out about his turkey.

We’ve all been there, haven’t we? And it feels awful.

When we do something wrong, it’s often easier to find forgiveness than when we hurt someone unintentionally and have no way to apologize. How do you find forgiveness for something you don’t really believe was wrong?

In the days of Moses, God told him to set up refuge cities for accidental sins. If you killed someone unintentionally, you could flee to a refuge city and be ensured safety until justice was done.

Those refuge cities are a small picture of who God is for us. “O Lord,” Isaiah says, “. . . you have been a refuge for the poor, a refuge for the needy in distress.”

When we’re feeling bad, God’s refuge is a safe place to be. He can provide healing — even for the sins you never committed.

(copyright by and by Marty Kaarre)