When I was a kid, I had an old radio in my bedroom that had been given to me by one of my favourite people, my great-aunt Verdie. It was a beast of a machine, with cool knobs and dials. It received AM, shortwave, weather, and a police band, if I recall. I used it to follow all my local professional sports teams, and I remember coming into my room in the evening, turning on the radio, and heading for the shower. When I’d come back into my room, the radio would be emitting earsplitting shrieks and squeals. Gradually, they would fade and the last few bars of the national anthem would come in just before the first pitch was thrown or a referee lofted a ball or dropped a puck.
My old radio was stuffed with vacuum tubes, the pre-1948 technology that needed to warm up for a while before a radio would begin to speak intelligibly.
In 1948, long after my radio had been built, two engineers at Bell Laboratories in New Jersey revolutionized the electronics industry by perfecting the transistor, catapulting us into age of solid state. (Actually, Julius Edgar Lilienfeld had filed a patent for this device in Canada in 1925, but had failed to publish any of his research.)*
Now, we live in the always-on culture of smartphones. With the touch of a button or the gentle swipe of a finger across a screen, one is instantly connected to someone living on the other side of the planet; watching a video; playing a game; or using an app to find a parking space or the closest Eco-friendly dry cleaner.
God forgives that way. In Psalm 86.5 (ESV) we read,
For you, O Lord, are good and forgiving, abounding in steadfast love to all who call upon you.
The KJV renders this, “For thou, O Lord, art good and ready to forgive”, showing the sense of God’s always-on forgiveness. It is His nature to forgive.
Others must often beg and plead for our forgiveness, then wait–sometimes for long periods–until we grant it. Even then, we can forgive grudgingly and halfheartedly, and people wonder if they are forgiven at all.
God is not like that. We don’t have to beg, cajole or bribe Him. We don’t have to ask Him twice. When we come to Him with repentant hearts and sincerely ask for His forgiveness, He grants it instantly and completely, joyfully and wholeheartedly.
And those who love Him should be known as people who are ready to forgive.That’s one of the implications of Paul’s exhortation in Ephesians 4.32.
Forgiveness should be an always-on feature of a follower of Jesus Christ.
*This information is from Wikipedia. Images obtained from Google Images.