Skip to main content

Okay...so forgive means???

Probably one of the most frustrating things we encounter in this lifetime is the need to actually forgive another human being for something they did against us or someone we love. It is doggone hard to forgive, move on, and let God deal with the other individual - let's be honest! If we look up forgiveness in the dictionary, we'd hope to find the definition that says we turn them over to some terrible fate, simply because we don't want to let them "off the hook" for what they have done. Webster's defines the act of forgiving as "giving up resentment of someone" and the idea of "pardoning" someone. Rarely do we want to pardon someone - we have a hard time "getting over" what they did without "giving up" on our feelings of being violated, though. The feelings follow the action, not the other way around. We give up the right to hold that other individual in a position of "owing us" anything - then the feelings of "letting them go" really begin to set in. It takes some time to really feel "free" of resentment - but if we consistently remember there is no more debt owed because we gave up our "right to repayment" when we released them from that debt.

When people work, their wages are not a gift, but something they have earned.  But people are counted as righteous, not because of their work, but because of their faith in God who forgives sinners.  David also spoke of this when he described the happiness of those who are declared righteous without working for it: “Oh, what joy for those whose disobedience is forgiven, whose sins are put out of sight.  Yes, what joy for those whose record the Lord has cleared of sin.” (Romans 4:4-8 NLT)

We would like to think of forgiveness as a debt being repaid - in some way the other person is "on the hook" until they are somehow able to repay that debt. If we examine what scripture says about forgiveness, we might turn to this passage above. Wages are earned - it is something we "get" because we "did" something to deserve those wages. We engage in a profession of some sort, putting in the hours "at work", and in turn, we get "paid" for what we have done that day. In essence, we say our employer "owes us a debt" of wages because we earned those wages by the efforts we put forth. Biblical forgiveness is just the opposite. Righteousness (right standing) is not because of what we have done to "earn" it, but because our "unrighteousness" (far from right standing) is put out of sight for us. We don't do it - God does all the "clearing" of the records that ultimately end with us having "right standing".

The place where the rubber meets the road is where our will and our conscience do battle. Our conscience knows we need to release the other individual - to restore them to "right standing" by letting go of the debt they owe us. Our will, on the other hand, gets muddled by the feelings of distress we have experienced because of what the other person did. Will wants to "take action" - but that action isn't always biblical! There are just some things our "will" needs to understand:

The other person doesn't have to see they have offended us deeply before we release them - releasing them doesn't limit God's taking of that offense on himself and dealing with it as he sees best. In fact, releasing them allows God to take the offense and begin to work in the life of the other individual to do as he will to bring them to a place where they encounter their need for his grace.

The "crime" may warrant some "time" when the offense has been egregious - such as when someone has violated someone sexually, beaten up the innocent, etc. The "time" isn't ours to determine - we might see them do some time as a penalty for their egregious action, but even when they receive a "sentence" for their actions, we can "release" them by granting them forgiveness in our hearts, minds, and souls.

The obligation to forgive is foremost - God asks for our obedience to forgive. He expects nothing less. The point of forgiveness begins often more with a prayer to God to ask him for the assistance to "let go" of what you have been harboring against that other individual. You begin to pray for his help and in turn, he begins to turn your heart toward praying for that other individual, so they will be helped to see the pathway to God's grace in their own lives. This may just be the greatest "miracle" we could be "parties to" in this lifetime - the "miracle" of turning from hatred and contempt toward another through embracing them in prayer for their "right standing" with God! Just sayin!

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

The bobby pin in the electrical socket does what???

Avoidance is the act of staying away from something - usually because it brings some kind of negative effect into your life.  For example, if you are a diabetic, you avoid the intake of high quantities of simple sugars because they bring the negative effect of elevating your blood glucose to unhealthy levels.  If you were like me as a kid, listening to mom and dad tell you the electrical outlets were actually dangerous didn't matter all that much until you put the bobby pin into the tiny slots and felt that jolt of electric current course through your body! At that point, you recognized electricity as having a "dangerous" side to it - it produces negative effects when embraced in a wrong manner.  Both of these are good things, when used correctly.  Sugar has a benefit of producing energy within our cells, but an over-abundance of it will have a bad effect.  Electricity lights our path and keeps us warm on cold nights, but not contained as it should be and it can produce …

Give him the pieces

What or Who is it that causes division among you right now? Maybe it is more of a 'what' than a 'who' that is creating the division between you and something you need in your life. Perhaps you are struggling with an addiction to something that keeps coming between you and true liberty from the hold that thing has on you. Yes, addiction is really the worst kind of enslavement one can imagine - being so emotionally or psychologically attached to the 'thing' that any attempt to break free causes so much trauma in your life that you just cannot imagine being free. But...God is above that addiction - he is stronger than the emotional or psychological pull that thing has in your life. Maybe the dividing force in your life right now is a 'who' - a tough relationship challenge between you and a coworker, a spouse that seems to no longer share your interests or values, or even a relative that doesn't understand some of your choices and now chooses to withdra…

Period!

When someone tells you that you need to wrap your mind around some concept, they are telling you that the subject at hand will take some effort on our part to actually get enough of a hint of it in order to even remotely understand it. The subject is complex, even a little overwhelming, and we will have to apply ourselves to really grasp it very well. We cannot wrap our minds around God's wisdom and knowledge - because it is infinite and our brains are sadly finite. We can only 'think' so far and then we have to 'trust'. Some of us think there is nothing we can trust if we cannot 'think' it through, but this will never work when it comes to our faith. Faith requires trust in what is unseen and not fully comprehended. The truth we believe is really building our trust, but until we approach God with more trust than 'thought', we will never fully grasp some of the things he has prepared for us.

We cannot wrap our minds around God’s wisdom and knowledge…