In the World–March 17, 2019

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There’s a lot of sin in the news. For example, a rash of politicians have recently felt the need to apologize for past actions and statements that were not in keeping with today’s politically correct stance on now-sensitive issues. Where harm has been done, it’s understandable that some may press for accountability, but there’s a danger of causing more harm in the process. There’s also a trend in social media toward so-called “cancel culture”—stopping books from being sold or TV shows from being aired because someone feels offended. There seems to be a vigilante culture looking to convict and carry out punishment, and there is very little talk about forgiveness.


How different was the father in Jesus’ parable (See Luke 15:11-24)! Both of his sons disappointed him. Neither one deserved forgiveness. However, the father’s love was greater than his sons’ offenses. The parable speaks powerfully to our relationship with our heavenly Father.

  1. Should we punish past actions or attitudes that were once considered acceptable behavior? Why or why not?
  2. Do you correct (or “call out”) someone who is acting or speaking in a way that offends you? What might be some Christlike ways to do so?
  3. Which of the characters in Jesus’ parable do you relate to most? Do you see yourself in more than one of them? In what ways?

—Charles R. Boatman
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