By Cass DuCharme
A few weeks ago, while visiting my dad in Florida, I got the dreaded phone call. You know the one. Ruth called me one evening to tell me that our son, Chase, had been involved in an automobile accident. I understand that after Ruth arrived on the scene, Chase asked, "What's Dad going to say?" To which Ruth replied, "He's going to ask if you're okay." As you might imagine, as soon as Ruth told me he had been in an accident, my first questions were, "Is Chase okay?" and "Was anyone hurt?" When she told me that no one was hurt and that it was just a "minor" fender bender, I was very relieved and said, "I sure am glad to hear that. Tell Chase everything will be fine. We can get the truck fixed."
The next day the insurance adjuster called to tell me that she was working on our case and then she said, "By the way, Mr. DuCharme, this policy has 'accident forgiveness'." She went on to explain that since we hadn't had an accident claim in many years, our insurance company was going to "forgive" this accident and our premiums wouldn't go up because of it. How cool is that! My 17-year-old son has an accident and I won't have to pay more money because of it. I understand, however, that this is a one shot deal. If anyone on my policy has another accident in the next few years, I don't think they're going to be quite so forgiving. But, I'll take their forgiveness this time and thank them for it.
When I began thinking about the idea of "accident forgiveness," I thought about how many times I'd been eager to forgive someone their transgression one time, but if it happened again, I wasn't so forgiving. I want forgiveness every time I transgress, but I'm often unwilling to forgive others who may repeat their transgressions.
I sure am glad that God's not that way. God's "transgression forgiveness" has a lifetime guarantee. No matter how many times we transgress, God always forgives us. He never condemns us but always asks, "Are you okay?" and "What can I do to make your life better?" Now it goes without saying that we shouldn't transgress just because we know God will always forgive us. But it sure is nice to know that he always will. I will take God's forgiveness every time I transgress and thank him for it.