“I Forgive You, But…You Don’t Deserve It!”
Have you ever had that thought? I think sometimes we think of forgiving as an option; “I’ll forgive them if I feel like it, and only if they deserve to be forgiven.”
But let’s face it: most people – ourselves included! – don’t deserve to be forgiven. However, forgiving and deserving don’t have anything to do with each other. We forgive because God says to and because he forgave us and because it sets us free. Period.
Really, forgiveness doesn’t have anything at all to do with the person we’re forgiving. We don’t forgive based on what they have or haven’t done; we forgive because God says to and because it’s our path to freedom.
After all, God forgave us when we didn’t deserve it. Romans 5:8 says, “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” While we were sinners, Jesus chose to die for us and pay for all our sins. He forgave us when we least deserved it. So shouldn’t we forgive people when they don’t deserve it?
God forgave us in Jesus because He’s good, not because we’re good. Aren’t you glad He didn’t view forgiving you as an option, but rather as part of His covenant? It’s not based on how you behave, but on His determination to love at all costs.
Colossians 3:13 says, “Even as Christ forgave you, so you also do.” Christ forgave us without strings attached, out of His great mercy and love. Since He did, we must do it too! That doesn’t sound like an option to me — it sounds like a commandment.
We should be very glad that forgiveness has nothing to do with deserving because neither you nor I deserved to be forgiven. We were all the same before Jesus saved us. We were undeserving sinners. I’m just glad every day that God forgave me before I ever deserved it!
Be careful of wanting people to get what they deserve. I tell people all the time, “Be careful about using the ‘D’ word” (deserving). If you and I got what we deserve, we’d all die and go to hell.” Thankfully, God’s amazing covenant, bought by the blood of the Lamb, has delivered us when we didn’t deserve it at all.