Forgiveness

By: Jane

Apr 21 2011

Category: God

5 Comments

Aperture:f/2.8

This post’s source of inspiration courtesy of CharlieschurchofChrist

I used to ask whether God, in asking us to forgive unconditionally without being asked for forgiveness, was asking us to do something that He Himself will not do. After all, to receive salvation, we need to sincerely repent and ask for His forgiveness. What I wasn’t getting was that our repentance is simply the reciprocal act in restoring a broken relationship. The forgiveness is already out there….all we have to do is accept it. And that is exactly what He is asking us to do: Forgive in hope that the relationship can be restored. Do all you can. The rest is up to the forgivee.

One of my greatest problems with this was forgiving someone I don’t even know personally. As a dog/animal lover, I don’t even want to hear the name Michael Vick. I will leave the room if people start discussing him. There is no way I would ever attend an Eagles game. I have acknowledged to God that I am sinning in this. I ask him to help me forgive, and on some level I think that I am. But forgiving, even though instantaneous on God’s part, often has to be a process on our part…a process that happens again and again and again. It also doesn’t necessarily mean trusting the person you’ve forgiven, if that would be a stupid thing to do. So I’m trying to learn to stay with the process, consciously forgive even when my emotions are repulsed, and learn the difference between forgiveness and trust.

The other thing about forgiveness is that when I am tempted to withhold it I am reminded of all that I have been forgiven of. God doesn’t want us to hold our own sins against ourselves, but He can use them to humble us and remind us that, even if we don’t always think about it, we need forgiveness as much as ANYBODY else. The greatest sin in His view may be that we don’t think so. Before I knew myself as well as He has made it possible for me to know me, I understood that I was not good enough to get into heaven on my own merit. But I always thought I was good enough to be a Christian. I’m not.
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5 comments on “Forgiveness”

  1. this is my favorite part:
    But forgiving, even though instantaneous on God’s part, often has to be a process on our part…a process that happens again and again and again. It also doesn’t necessarily mean trusting the person you’ve forgiven, if that would be a stupid thing to do.

    I have quite a few friends right now dealing with possible divorce. And although they are christians and know the stance on divorce biblically…they have good reason to divorce the spouse…cheating etc. I commend one of the girls as she seems to constantly forgive her spouse that wrongs to her and lies to her. However I wish she would realize that she can’t trust him. I may send her part of your post.

    • Send away, Jules!
      And, as heretical as this may sound to some, I think that some people never should have been married in the first place, or alternatively, that for some people it takes a divorce to wake them up….if they can be woken.

  2. Insightful. I am right in line with you on the Vick issue. I have received anger from die hard fans telling me he has paid his price, it is time to move on…I just can’t move past the voiceless ones who suffered the most. However, yes, I do need to forgive him, and though I conciously do it today, I know I will have to do it again and again.
    Isn’t it amazing that God doesn’t bail me out at the moment I need to forgive someone by reminding me right then of how He has forgiven me? He allows me the opportunity to turn immediately to Him (whether I do or not) and the remembrance for me comes later. I personally think it is a sign of how far I have to go yet.

  3. there is such a balance here that Christianity has struggled to maintain – emphasizing sin in a way that shows us how destructive it is but also emphasizing that we are free from sin. Its so easy when talking about sin to heap guilt and lose the message of forgiveness.

    thanks for the shout out, glad to hear I inspired you, even if I didn’t resolve it.


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