Let’s lengthen yesterday’s list of sins against us:
breaking and entering,
Have I hit you yet?
What to do! Outside of calling the police, or suing, which can be legitimate actions, how do we finally get some peace about the hurtful things people do to us?
Yes, that’s the answer; that’s how we get peace. And forgiveness is often the one thing we least understand and least want.
Like bad-tasting medicine.
Just as in yesterday’s post, the first reason is God.
1. God. God requires us to forgive. This is the best reason because when we are wounded and aching on the inside, we don’t understand much—but we don’t even have to think. We just know what He requires and we prepare to go there.
God also promises to reward our forgiveness toward others with His forgiveness toward us, which, if we are honest, should highly motivate us.
And like any good father, God teaches by example. He shows us how to do forgiveness, in the most radical, graphic way.
2. Man. Man wants and needs forgiveness. Who among us is innocent?
To keep God’s forgiveness, we must be forgiving. Since He has shown us His awesome power to forgive, how can we do less than try to imitate Him? That is His thinking.
Forgiveness also frees man to be able to hear God. Before we forgive, all we can hear from Him is how we ought to forgive. Once we are over that hurdle, He can show us so much more.
Lack of forgiveness binds us to the sinner we refuse to forgive. This is so scary. What it means is that when we refuse to forgive sin against us, when we hug it up to ourselves and get it out and look at it every day, we start BEING like that sin.
Look at it this way: With a physical wound, if we treat it correctly, we can greatly minimize the scarring. But if we refuse to remove the dirt, refuse to medicate it, refuse a bandage, and continue picking at it, we make it worse. Bigger. Deeper. Uglier. Longer-lasting. More painful.
With a spiritual wound, we can even pass it down to our children…
3. Satan. Of course, he hates forgiveness, a real no-brainer, right?
The fun thing about this is when we obey God about forgiving, we SHUT THE DOOR TO HIS ENEMY. This is exactly what we need.
The reverse is also true, though: when we disobey about forgiving, we open a door to him and his horrible ways.
Stop by tomorrow for Part 3, about what forgiveness actually is.
I promise you, you will find it WONDERFUL NEWS!
Image by Andreas Winterer via Flickr