Don’t Forget Forgiveness
By Richard Sanders
Forgiveness is the greatest and most powerful gift of all – and the most costly! Just think for a moment how much it cost Jesus to forgive us, it cost Him everything! It is a fundamental pillar of our faith and as it becomes part of our new divine nature (Colossians 3:12- 15) it will continue to be a powerful force to transform our anger and hurt into healing and peace –if we will allow it.
“Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful.”
It also comes with a condition attached – to fully benefit from it we must also pass it on (Luke 6:37-38).
“Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven; give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you.”
It is inevitable that at some point in our experience, we shall either be a giver or a receiver of this most essential and life affirming gift. I’m sure many of us have experienced the stresses and sheer exhaustion that accompanies unforgiveness as much as the relief and liberation that forgiveness affords us!
Knowing that it contains such amazing power, I wonder if anyone else struggles with a side of forgiveness that is not often seen and yet can be a real hindrance in moving forward in our walk with our Lord, that of forgiving ourselves?
How often do we allow the enemy to manipulate the memory of our past mistakes to relive the regret of the hurt that those decisions made to ourselves and others? How often do those memories limit or disqualify us from taking on new challenges and stop us from reaching the abundant life that is in Christ? “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” (John 10:10)
“Just think for a moment how much it cost Jesus to forgive us, it cost Him everything!”
The good news for those of us who struggle in letting go of our mistakes and realising the fullness of forgiveness is that those things that we fear no longer exist, and God has already forgotten them! “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9)
And if God has forgotten them, ask yourself this, why waste your energy and future on the lies of the enemy! Rather let forgiveness fuel the fire for your future!