I remember when our children were very young, it did not take long for them to begin to learn about forgiveness. Someone would take a toy, knock over a block formation or ruin a coloring masterpiece. I would hear the scream, “M-O-M!!!” I would come into the war zone and I would listen to the dramatic events of the conflict and determine the course of action. However, no matter the crisis the courtroom scene would end with these words, “I am sorry for …. please forgive me.” and the response would be “I forgive you for …..”
Throughout life we experience different levels of hurt and offense. Some hurts are like a scratch that disappears quickly; other times our hurt is a deep wound that leaves a scar; and still other hurts are like internal injuries that affect our quality of life.
In my life I have had to forgive many people for their words, actions, betrayals, and at times their silence. It is difficult to walk out forgiveness but with God it is not just a letting go, putting it in the rearview mirror or rising above the offense; no with God forgiveness goes hand and hand with repentance which produces a peace that my heart desperately needs. Forgiveness and the act of extending forgiveness is a spiritual encounter with God’s grace and mercy.
Let’s look at Colossians chapter 3 verses 12-15.
“Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.” Col. 3:12
Verse 12 sounds great until you read it in content and we realize it has to do with forgiveness.
“Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others.” Col. 3:13
Well that just doesn’t seem fair. But forgiveness is not about what is fair, it is about what is just! When we experience forgiveness of our sins through repentance we experience God’s mercy, His kindness, His humility on the cross, His gentleness with us and His patience towards us. The gift of repentance should change our perspective.
Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony. And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace. And always be thankful.” Col. 3:15
It is the realization that it took the same amount of Christ’s blood to forgive us that it takes to forgive others. Repentance enlarges our capacity of understanding forgiveness and produces gratitude and thankfulness.
I am aware that life is complicated and that some offenses and wrongs done to us by others are enormous. I also know that deep need to be forgiven for a wrong I have done. The reality is we do not always get the apology, the forgiveness or the closure we hope for or need. I myself have experienced some of those enormous offenses, but I have also experienced amazing grace and profound forgiveness which has changed my life. I encourage you to prayerfully meditate and ponder the scripture. My hope for you is that the peace that comes from Christ will rule in your heart and produce salvation’s gratitude and thankfulness.
From my heart to yours,