What if I told you forgiveness is freeing? What if I told you forgiveness is not natural?
Forgiveness isn’t natural because it originates from a God who is supernatural.
How much does God love people? I almost hear the echo of the answer as a visual that comes to my mind of a nail-pierced, wounded Jesus who holds up His hands and spreads them on the cross beams, whispering “This much.”
God could crush any one of us by the tips of two fingers but through Christ was willing to be crushed at the hands of men for the sake of our redemption. God was willing to humble Himself by taking the form of a man and dying on an old, rugged cross. But think of how the world treats “forgiveness.” Society says forgiveness is “weakness” and “foolishness.” Scripture has an answer: “But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong,” 1 Corinthians 1:27 (English Standard Version).
So the wisdom of God is the fact that true wisdom lies in recognizing true freedom; forgiveness holds that freedom. Forgiveness isn’t weakness but the greatest display of strength known to mankind.
If forgiveness can set people free when we receive it from God, then forgiveness can set people free from the offenses we set against of each other.
But tell me how many people harness that power? It doesn’t make “sense.” NEWSFLASH: Jesus didn’t die so that we could sit and “make sense.” He died to make true sons and daughters out of us.
Forgiveness doesn’t make sense to our sin-scarred human nature because we have a human nature from Adam. Forgiveness makes sense in the beautiful re-making that is Jesus (the Second Adam).
Forgiveness make sense to a God free from pride; Forgiveness doesn’t make sense to a world in chains to its ego. Why would people give up an ego they’ve made a master out of for the sake of “letting someone” off the hook?
Many people hold grudges for the “fear of giving in” or being perceived “as a doormat,” all the while becoming the very person who steps on and over others. Was Jesus ever a doormat? Was the greatest person who displayed forgiveness a doormat? Not once. Jesus rebuked not only the self-righteous, but anyone who needed rebuking.
Jesus displayed what love looks like.
“The devil has cleverly turned the concept of “for-giv-ing” into the “fear of-giving-in”. Do you think that God feared “giving in” to humanity when He extended His mercy on the world? No. He loved us immensely. To put it in human terms, “He loved us way too much.”
But to receive God’s forgiveness we need to own up to our flaws and our failure and the failure for us to rise above sin on our own. We bring this to God and by faith commit to turning from it and receiving Christ into our lives, once and for all, as Lord and Savior. The director of our lives.
“Fear-of-giving-in” and “for-give-ness.” Those look similar from a distance but when you examine them, they couldn’t be further apart. One starts with a “for,” the other with a “fear.” God starts His plan with love “for” people, the devil starts with fear.
April 28, 2019