Let’s face it, people screw up. It’s called being human. It’s called being a sinner, which each and every human being is from the moment of conception until their final breath. We all sin and we all screw up. Does one sin outweigh another? Not according to Jesus. A sin, is a sin, is a sin. All sin goes against God and keeps us from being righteous in His eyes. Just because you sin differently than I do does not make you the better person.
How do you view forgiveness? Would you throw away years of friendship over one violation? What about a relationship with your child? A family member? Would the type of relationship matter before you made a choice to keep it or just throw it away? Do you insist that the person who committed the violation against you first ask for your forgiveness before you will extend it? If they do ask for forgiveness, are you willing to forgive and forget? Or do you forgive and say forget you?
If you choose to truly forgive, do you search within yourself in an effort to better the relationship by seeking how you may have contributed to the situation? Or do you continue to assume you are free and clear of any wrongdoing? Where’s your forgiveness bar? What sets your standard? I hope you know where it is because Jesus uses the same measure on you as you do with others. ALL others, not just family.
In all relationships, there is a big difference between “I forgive you” and “I forget you.” There is a big consequence in saying “I forgive you” just to make yourself feel better and keeping up with the “Christian code” to have the ability to say, “I told them I forgive them.” Saying I forgive you, yet continuing to hold the person in contempt, is not forgiveness at all. Saying I forgive you, yet continuing to lead that person to believe there is hope for a continued relationship when you know otherwise in your heart, is not forgiveness at all. Saying I forgive you, yet deleting them from your life, is not forgiveness at all. If you truly forgive someone, but no longer want a relationship with them, the only right thing to do is to tell them, in love, that is your desire. Continuing to keep the “carrot of hope” dangling in front of them not only proves selfishness in your heart, but exacerbates the hurt, and delays the healing of the other person’s heart. Your heart and your life, in the eyes of Jesus, are no more important than His other children.
Father God, thank You for never saying to me “I forgive you, but forget you” for the immeasurable amount of violations I have committed against You in my life!! Thank You for saying “I forgive you and will forget your violation and I will remember it no more” when I come to you and ask for Your forgiveness!! May Your measure of forgiveness always be what I give to others!!
In Christ’s Name, Amen.
October 6, 2015