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Be Forgiving

September 13, 2010

In our day to day dealings people injure us.  They sin against us.  They intentionally or  accidentally wrong us. Our Christian love overlooks a multitude of these sins, but there are some that are too great or too hurtful to be overlooked, so they must be dealt with. These wrongs can be illustrated as a debt owed to us.  Often these debts are not to be lightly brushed aside. Rather, they are of such a magnitude that they demand we take them seriously. What do we do with that debt? Do we hold that injury against someone, like the bank holds the note on your house? Do we constantly remind a person that he owes  something, like the credit card company does every month? Do we seek to get out of that person what we think we are owed, holding a lien on their life until we are satisfied? As Christians, we should do none of these things.  What we must do is forgive.

Forgiveness wipes the debt away. Forgiveness promises to treat the offending person like they never offended. Forgiveness says, you owe me nothing. What a great promise this is! This is Biblical forgiveness. Forgiveness puts the wrong behind and refuses to allow it to interfere with the relationship. Biblical forgiveness is not based upon my goodness or kindness as an individual.  It is based on the forgiveness offered to all men by God.  Forgiving or being forgiven by others is not a saving merit, it merely points to the forgiveness God grants to those who by faith come to Him through His Son.  Just as God forgives us, so we should be forgiving others, refusing to dwell on the wrong done against us but holding the offender absolvedof all their obligation towards us in that matter. Some injuries are too deep or painful to be forgotten, but we don’t have to dwell on them. We can choose to think on other things when those injuries come to our mind. We can choose to fill our mind with good things, things that are virtuous and praiseworthy to think on. This forgiveness also refuses to seek vengeance. It never strives to get even with someone for what they did. Biblical forgiveness does not ignore consequences or overlook sin.  In imitation of the Divine forgiveness we realize that there must be consequences to sin, however, we also recognize that the ultimate executor of justice is God.  As Christians we must be practicing Biblical forgiveness. I fully realize that the complications and evilness of this world at times makes this concept very difficult to put into practice.  However, the difficulty of obedience does not mitigate its necessity.  This is a clear command from Scriptures.  Here is Paul’s summation of how the saved man, the new man, must relate to others.  “Be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.”

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