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Worthy of redemption?

From the March 2024 issue of The Christian Science Journal

No, this article isn’t about coupons. It’s about lives and relationships being freed from blame. Redemption is restorative. This doesn’t mean overlooking bad behavior, but where remorse is genuine, mercy rather than condemnation can provide a path forward, an opportunity to get it right, to make better decisions and follow through on them.

The Bible is full of redemption stories that remain relevant today because, although cultures change over the centuries, human nature doesn’t change that much. Consider the unlikely reconciliation of twin brothers Jacob and Esau. Jacob, the younger, takes his older brother’s birthright and blessing. Esau, furious, vows to kill him, and Jacob flees for his life.

Some twenty years later, when told by God to return home, Jacob has become a prosperous man with large flocks and herds and a good-sized family. He is anxious that Esau might still intend to kill him. The answer to Jacob’s prayers for deliverance, and his earnest mental wrestling, becomes an opportunity to repair this relationship. He humbly sends several generous gifts ahead of him—peace offerings for Esau.

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