I’ve been thinking about forgiveness a lot lately. It’s something that everyone deals with. Some wrestle with it more than others, but we all deal with it regularly. But what is forgiveness, really? Forgiveness literally means to ‘cancel a debt’. What does ‘debt’ have to do with forgiveness? Well, in a financial sense to ‘cancel’ a debt (some amount of assets that are owed) is to ‘forgive’ that debt, it is no longer owed.
When we bring that over into the ‘personal’, or ‘emotional’ realm, it has the same meaning but with a twist. If someone harms, hurts or injures our feelings, or our person, then they incur a debt to which we hold the note. They are ‘indebted’ to us to rectify the situation: To apologize, to restore what has been taken, to resolve some intense conflict—we feel entitled to be recompensed for the injury, whether real or imagined!!! How do we/I forgive without receiving that reconciliatory gesture, whatever it may need to be. Well, that’s where ‘forgiveness’ comes in.
1 John 4:19-21, “19 We love him, because he first loved us. 20 If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen? 21 And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also.”
Matthew 6:12-15, “And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. 13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen. 14 For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: 15 But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.”
Luke 23:33-34, “And when they were come to the place, which is called Calvary, there they crucified him, and the malefactors, one on the right hand, and the other on the left. 34 Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots.”
The basis of forgiveness is God’s love for us, “because he first loved us”. I am loved and forgiven by God through the blood of Jesus Christ. Amen, praise HIS name!!
Colossians 1:12-14, “ Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet (fit) to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: 13 Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: 14 In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:”
I am redeemed with that very blood that Jesus shed, as HE cried, “forgive them; for they know not what they do”. If Jesus can, IF He could, and yes, HE DID do that for me, what less can I practice as I encounter others and the sufferings of life?
Ephesians 4:22-32 reveals some of the things Christ expects of those who belong to Him and Paul sums it all up by reminding us that we are to ‘be ye kind’ ,‘tenderhearted’, and forgiving; in contrast to being ‘hardhearted’ and ‘cold’ toward one another, and especially those who have injured us!!!!
“That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; 23 And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; 24 And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness. 25 Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour: for we are members one of another. 26 Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: 27 Neither give place to the devil. 28 Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth. 29 Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers. 30 And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. 31 Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: 32 And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.” Consider our own forgiveness and give in kind—through and like Jesus!!
As we look at Colossians 1, in Paul’s prayer, we see what we are to be—then do. The thing we must remember is that our ‘doing’ comes out of our ‘being’. You can’t ‘do enough’ to change your heart, but Jesus can change your heart to ‘become the sons of God’ (Jn 1:12). When I ‘be’long to Jesus then His Spirit is within me, and I have been saved by grace through faith to
‘be’ “……. his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.”
Jesus on the inside ‘being’ will ‘be’ revealed in our ‘doing’ His work on the outside.
IN the beginning of this prayer in Col 1:9-11, Paul reminds us that we will need the knowledge of HIM to have the power to walk in forgiveness with
“all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness;”
Why? Because people are people and they do cause us harm.
“….. pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; 10 That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God; 11 Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness;”
Patience refers to ‘abiding under’—our circumstances.
Longsuffering refers to ‘suffering long’—relating to people.
release the debt to God
because He has called us to it and,
He will take care of the ‘debt’.
“Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.” Romans 12:19.
I trust HIM!!! Do you?????
A question only YOU can answer.