MODELLING GOD'S STYLE OF FORGIVENESS
Forgiveness is tricky. At one level it’s letting go of an offense toward someone who did you wrong. At a deeper level, it’s moving on from trauma caused by someone else and its control over your life. Forgiveness can take work, and sometimes, necessary professional help. Whatever the situation we find ourselves in, the Bible’s instruction is to, ‘forgive as the Lord forgave you’. But what does that mean?
It’s easy to dismiss as a ‘Christian-ey’ phrase that suggests we, ‘let people off the hook again and again’ – after all, we’ve done bad stuff too and God got over that, right?
When God offered His forgiveness, though, He made it really plain what we’d done wrong. From Genesis, the story unfolds of Adam and Eve’s original sin, and humanity’s consequential need to repair our relationship with Him. God explains what Jesus came to forgive us of, and why His sacrifice was needed.
If you’re harbouring unforgiveness toward someone, perhaps what’s needed isn’t to just set it aside, but to talk with them about how they hurt you. They may not know, and clearing it up could be what repairs the friendship.
God also forgives liberally and mercifully. There are millions of people in the world who are yet to realise the role of God’s forgiveness in their lives, and yet – they’re forgiven. You may not get the luxury of an apology – or agreement on where fault lies, but modelling God means forgiving anyway. Without waiting for permission.
Is there someone you need to forgive today?