Sunday, January 24, 2010

Christian Forgiveness

The skit I am writing for our
homeschool co-op has forgiveness
as its primary message.

This has me thinking.

How do we forgive?

Why do we forgive?

Who wins when we forgive?

First of all, I think that Christians have the best understanding of forgiveness that can be had. I mean once a person understands that they cannot possibly live up to the expectations of a perfect God and accept the gift of salvation offered through the death of Jesus, it kind of brings a new light on the subject.

God is love.
We hear this all of the time.
It is true.

God is also just.

Romans 6:23
For the wages of sin is death,
but the gift of God is
eternal life
in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Sin is not acceptable in His sight.
Not even an bad thought now and then...

I John 3:15
Anyone who hates his brother
is a murderer,
and you know that
no murderer has eternal
life in him.

But who can live up to that???

Romans 3:10-12
There is no one righteous, not even one;
there is no one who understands,
no one who seeks God.
All have turned away,
they have together become worthless;
there is no one who does good,
not even one."

No one.

Hence the need of a paid penalty.
The penalty had to be death.
It was.
Jesus, God's Son, gave Himself
for those who would receive the
gift of Eternal opposed
to an Eternity Absent from God.

Romans 3:21-26
But now a righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. God presented him as a sacrifice of atonement, through faith in his blood. He did this to demonstrate his justice, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished— he did it to demonstrate his justice at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus.

Having received this forgiveness
in the most life changing and
serious way, how can we not forgive
those around us who hurt us,
intentionally or not.

After all, we are told to pray in the
Lord's Prayer...
"Forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from the evil one.
For if you forgive men when
they sin against you,
your heavenly Father will
also forgive you.
But if you do not forgive
men their sins,
your Father will not
forgive your sins."

So, back to the original questions:

How do we forgive?

We forgive by following
God's example. Once we
have accepted Christ's gift
all that has gone before is
forgiven and forgotten.
As if it had never been.

My human brain does love
to hold on to offenses.
Each time a memory of a
time I was "wronged" comes
to mind,
I may have to forgive again.
Forgiveness is a choice...
not a feeling.

An action verb, if you will.

Why do we forgive?

We forgive so that we
can be forgiven. We also
forgive so that we can be
free...from hate, sadness
and broken relationships.

This is vital in our family
relationships. To leave
something unforgiven is to
create a split in the relationship
that will be very hard to repair
later. The sooner we choose
to forgive the less fallout
we have to deal with.

Who wins when we forgive?

Especially the forgiver.
Holding onto a grudge uses
so much energy. It can make
one tired and ugly.

There was no greater testimony
to come out of the sad event
called the "Amish Schoolhouse
Shooting" just miles from my
home than the forgiveness demonstrated
by the families whose lives were
impacted forever.

Amish men traveled to the Middle
East to speak with men in Countries
there because there was so much interest
in how they could possibly honestly
forgive. They were asked to come
and explain it.

The media was stunned
at the true forgiveness
they observed.

Stories from courtrooms
become news when the victim
or their family chooses forgiveness
over vengeance.

Why does this become news?

Because it is rare.

But what a powerful impact is made
when the family of a drunk driver and
that driver who made a terrible choice
team up to speak in classrooms.

Forgiveness is way underrated.

Christians forgive, because we understand
what we have been forgiven.

We win, because we have been forgiven
and we win when we forgive those who
hurt us.

It's not always easy...
but it is soooo worth it!

If you are holding onto hurts
today, I would encourage you
to let go. Find the joy that
is waiting for you in the gift
of forgiveness.

Your chest will feel lighter
and your smile will become

An instant

I am turning off the comments.

After a post such as this I
always cringe when pressing

I am not perfect!
I have not totally mastered
this. Hopefully each
time I remember more quickly
that there is joy and freedom in

Thanks for allowing me to
share this with you.