You Are Forgiven…
YOU ARE FORGIVEN
“I forgive you…”
You are forgiven …
“Please forgive me…”
These are what we are taught to do (not just say) when someone hurts us or we hurt them.
But what if you can’t?
I bet you somethings are more difficult to do than the others.
Forgiveness is hard. Really hard. But very necessary.
Sometimes the grievousness of our sins and offenses against God makes us run away from Him, thinking that He will not or maybe cannot forgive us. Many times, we find it hard to accept God’s forgiveness.
We feel sometimes that somethings are not just that forgivable.
Sometimes people hurt us so badly that mouthing these words “you are forgiven” becomes unthinkable and an impossible thing to do. So we hold on to the hurts, the grudge, the memories of what they did to us, the pain etc. We even begin to dislike or hate them.
We all have, or at some points in our lives have had things we feel we have the right to ‘hold on’ to rather than forgiving.
How many times did Jesus say we should forgive again?
Enough to cut off every right we think we have for not mouthing the words: “you are forgiven” and enough to make us wish He never made such statement.
You see the word ‘forgiveness’ has been interpreted to mean different things to different people at different times.
Here are some meanings I have heard people attach to ‘forgiveness” :
For some, the words ‘you are forgiven,” connotes he idea that you are doing the people who hurt you a favor,
Others see it as letting your offenders walk free and as result ‘encouraging them to keep hurting them’,
For some others ‘forgiveness is a word they don’t even want in their dictionary because it makes them give up their right to be angry or their right to seek revenge.
“Forgiving someone isn’t approving how they wronged you; rather it is no longer allowing their wrongs to define you.” — Rachel Wolchin
“Forgiveness is something we do for ourselves, not for the people who hurt us”.
For me, forgiveness is a whole lot of things I’m learning and having to relearn now.
I want to truly forgive.
I want to fully accept God’s forgiveness
I want to learn what true forgiveness is.
I want to forgive.
Not because I am doing myself a favor, because everything is not and does not have to be about me.
You see, when I think of Jesus Christ on the cross, His forgiveness and all the compassion and love that flowed from His wounded soul; I see something He did, not for Himself but for me, you, and us.
Jesus died, bought my redemption with His blood, brought forgiveness, forgave my mountain of sins and restored me back to God. He gave me, all of us an opportunity to call God “my Father.” He restored our broken relationship with God. He gave us His life. He opened up a way for us to connect freely with God.
This was something He did not for Himself, but for us—you and I. He did it with us in mind. He did it because of us. He was not doing Himself a favor by forgiving those who sold Him out, denied Him, bad-mouth Him, or nailed Him to the cross.
If forgiveness is something we do for ourselves, then it becomes something selfish, conditional and sort of makes us feel we have the right to anger and becomes something we can decide whether or not to do (since we are doing ourselves a favor). This nature of forgiveness takes away the love, the compassion, and the grace we are supposed to have towards others (whether or not they hurt us).
God leaves us no such choice. As we, believers (who have chosen to walk our entire lives with Him) are evidently commanded in the Scriptures to forgive.
Jesus modeled a good example for us to follow. We are admonished several times in the Bible to follow Jesus’ pattern, to imitate Him. He gave a full sermon on forgiveness and revenge and loving those who hurt us
This leaves us vulnerable, as Jesus was on the cross (naked).
This leaves us with no choice, no reason whatsoever, no rights to anger, revenge or anything as such.
We are left with one thing—to forgive, truly forgive others, not for ourselves, with all the compassion and love just as Jesus did for us.
You are forgiven should become a word and something we readily say and do.
We are to forgive. And not just stop there. We are to move further, seek ways to restore or amend relationship, (just as Jesus did), release them from our self-made prison and let them walk free, seek ways to help them grow, or improve in certain areas of their lives so they do not keep hurting people.
We are to forgive as Christ forgave us. To comfort others with the same comfort we ourselves have received from God.
This kind of forgiveness comes from God.
This kind of forgiveness is born out of love and compassion for others.
This kind of forgiveness is learned (from God).
This kind of forgiveness is what I seek.
To learn to truly forgive. Even when they have not apologized.
To forgive deeply enough to seek to amend the broken relationships thereby ministering God’s love through my actions.
This is what I want to learn. This is what I pray for.
This may go against my humanness, everything the human mind can comprehend, and everything the society thinks is ‘right’.
But this I what I want.
This is why I am joining the You are forgiven study organized by Love God Greatly online Bible study community.
I want to learn what true forgiveness is, to accept God’s forgiveness and to be able to truly give it to others.
So, come 29th August 2016, we begin a study on forgiveness. And I invite you to join me and a community of other believers as we take this study.
If you are interested in the study (which of course I recommend), visit Love God Greatly to download the You are forgiven study materials.
I will not be sharing my lessons from the study on this blog, but I will do so on my Facebook group. Therefore, I invite you to join the group to be able to share your lessons, give and receive encouragements from other believers.
God Bless You.
What does true forgiveness mean to you?