About Forgiveness

I’m finding it difficult to find the words to start this post. I know what I want to say, I just don’t have a clear idea how to get there, yet. Have you ever done that? You can see where you want to go, but you’re not quite sure how to get there? I think forgiveness can be like that sometimes.

We know that we should forgive someone for what they’ve done, either to us or in spite of us, but there’s that persistent little devil inside with a death grip on your emotions. He wants to squeeze every bit of resentment, hate, and rage out of you before it’s satisfied that it has ruined another relationship for you. In times like that, we feel like we don’t want to forgive. We want to be angry. We want to justify our words and actions.

We know that forgiveness will bring our hearts and minds the peace we so desperately need, so why do we so often choose to wrap ourselves in a blanket of bitterness instead? In my opinion, we do so because we harbor no hope for reconciliation. Since we see no path forward, we embed ourselves in the disappointing ground we know so well.

In that moment, forgiveness seems so close you can touch it, yet too far to grasp.

Okay, enough of the “woe is me” nonsense for now. Let’s look at things from God’s perspective.

Forgiveness, as He sees it, covers the past, present, and future because He is outside of time. It is an integral part of His eternal, unchanging nature and therefore has and will continue to exist forever. That is the true nature of forgiveness. And, unfortunately, according to the rule of opposites, unforgiveness also encompasses the past, present, and future.

I think I can explain this better with the following analogy.

If someone offends us and that offense endangers the relationship, then no matter how much good they have done for us in the past, your present unforgiveness prevents them from ever approaching you to resolve the issue in the future. So long as you harbor hate in your heart, there is nothing they can do to repair the relationship regardless of how hard they try.

But, if we follow His example, then hope springs eternal. When we presently choose to forgive someone of their past offense, then we open the door to a future moment when the offender humbles themselves, acknowledges their wrongdoing, and repents of what they have done, thus restoring the relationship. This is what true forgiveness must look and act like because it is what He has done for us.

God has already forgiven all of our sin. Past, present, and future. That does not mean that we are all going to heaven by default. That means that the door to heaven is open and we have free access to approach the throne of God and receive it through humility, contrition, and repentance. He isn’t waiting to strike us down the moment we attempt to approach Him. He isn’t standing in judgement of our sin until we do, either. The moment we die is when our choices become permanent. Until then, there isn’t anything that we have broken that He isn’t willing and able to fix.

Forgiveness and unforgiveness are flip sides of the same coin and thus both are eternal.

“For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” Matthew 6:14 & 15 (NKJV)

God isn’t telling us that to manipulate us. It’s called informed consent. He’s letting us know the consequences of our choices before we make them and “I was upset” will not be an acceptable excuse for them when we stand before Him in judgment.

“I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live;” Deuteronomy 30:19 (NKJV)

None of us are so perfect that we can afford to hold on to offence. Let it go.

Published by Paul Jason Wilhelm

I want to live out the Truth of God's Word and inspire others to do the same through the publication of stories and articles that will ignite Faith, Hope, & Love.

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