77 to 490 times. Get crackin', that's a lot of forgivin'

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Oh how I love forgiveness. Oh how I hate forgiving.

God says: Hey, y'all [apparently he was born in Mississippi] are sure messing up a lot of things down there. But since I have to get involved, silly people, I'll send Jesus. I know, I know, he's my only son, but I really love you. So he'll redeem you and I forgive you and then through Him, you'll have even more forgiveness.
People say: YAY!! All of our sins forgiven? Heck yes we'll agree to that. Hurrah!! Yay! I love forgiveness!
God says: On one condition- you better forgive others. Clearly y'all are a whole mess of sinners, each and every one of you. So you need to remember that each one of you is as guilty as the next. So look around, and when someone else does something wrong then you have to forgive him, just like I did for you. Got that?
People: Okay, okay. Grumble grumble grumble.

This seems to me the way it works. We never end up doing what we are supposed to and everyone seems to hold a grudge of some sort. I know I am guilty of all of this. Even though everyone seems to call me nice, I don't feel nice all of the time. I get angry and I keep my righteous indignation inside. Sometimes it is well-deserved and well placed. But I am called to forgive. UUGH! I don't wanna! Part of my heart says that's the right thing to do- to go ahead and forgive, take that chance! Part of my brain though, is telling me "are you really sure that's such a good idea? this person hurt you before, something was wrong. why go back to that?" And there that argument lives.

It's hard to hold a grudge. It's harder to forgive. Once it's done then you're golden. So you have the grudge part down pat. I'll start forgiving right now. A careful forgiveness. Pray for me! Sara Paddison once said "sincere forgiveness isn't colored with expectations that the other person apologize or change. Don't worry whether or not they finally understand you. Love them and release them. Life feeds back truth to people in its own way and time."

Matthew 18:21-22: Then Peter came and said to him, "Lord, if another member of the church sins against me, how often should I forgive? As many as seven times?" Jesus said to him, "Not seven times, but, I tell you, seventy seven [seventy times seven] times."

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