In his book, "Will Daylight Come?" Robert Heffler pens this moving illustration:
There was a little boy visiting his grandparents on their farm. He was given a slingshot to play with, out in the woods. He practiced in the woods, but he could never hit the target. Getting discouraged, he headed back to dinner.
As he was walking back, he saw Grandma's pet duck. Just out of impulse, he let fly, hit the duck square in the head and killed it. He was shocked and grieved. In a panic, he hid the dead duck in the woodpile, only to see his sister watching. Sally had seen it all, but she said nothing.
After lunch that day Grandma said, "Sally, let's wash the dishes."
But Sally said, "Grandma, Johnny told me he wanted to help in the kitchen today, didn't you Johnny?" And then she whispered to him, "Remember the duck?" So Johnny did the dishes.
Later Grandpa asked if the children wanted to go fishing, and Grandma said, "I'm sorry, but I need Sally to help me make supper."
But Sally smiled and said, "Well, that's all right because Johnny told me he wanted to help." And she whispered again, "Remember the duck?" Sally went fishing and Johnny stayed.
After several days of Johnny doing both his chores and Sally's, he finally couldn't stand it any longer. He came to Grandma and confessed that he killed the duck. She knelt down, gave him a hug, and said, "Sweetheart, I know. You see, I was standing at the window and I saw the whole thing. But because I love you, I forgave you. But, I was just wondering how long you would let Sally make a slave of you."
You would think that once we receive forgiveness from God, Satan would leave us alone, but he doesn't. He continues to accuse us and tries to make us feel guilty. That's what he does best -- he's an accuser. Sometimes we make the mistake of listening to him and thus remain a slave. Forgiveness offers freedom -- freedom from guilt as well as freedom from sin.
"Then I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, 'Now salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren, who accused them before our God day and night, has been cast down.' " (Rev. 12:10)
May you seek to know God's forgiveness, and the freedom that goes with it.