Can I forgive? I'm not talking about a performance based forgiveness. I'm talking about the grace based forgiveness that is contained in an intimate relationship. Finished work forgiveness.
For example... Can I forgive my friend for moving away? They didn't do anything wrong by moving away. But, The fact that they made the decision to move hurt me. Perhaps I feel guilty for being hurt by something like that. They are not wrong. I am not right... but I miss them... I am just hurt.
Maybe my parent died... maybe my spouse or sibling is gone. I am angry at them for going. I shouldn't be but I am. I need to forgive them. No, I'll just stuff my emotions inside and repress them. They are not wrong... why should I forgive them? I will just adjust... maybe change myself... I'll die to it! Yes, That is what I'll do... but the hurt remains.
What about God? I have been hurt by God. His plan has not gone the way I wanted it to. He has the power to do what He wants. Why is there evil? Why do things take so long? Why do good people die? No. No. God is perfect! I should not need to forgive Him. I'll stuff those emotions down inside. I am not happy but I should be so I'll press on and live incomplete... that is the best I can do...
But, Wait... Maybe I need to forgive God? Not because He is wrong but because an intimate relationship is based on forgiveness.
Jesus paid for all sin and cleared every debt. Spirituality is not performance based. Christ was the only one who could perform and He did. Now that is done and taken care of. It is finished.
"If thou, LORD, shouldest mark iniquities, O Lord, who shall stand? But there is forgiveness with thee, that thou mayest be feared. I wait for the LORD, my soul doth wait, and in his word do I hope." Psalms 130:3-5 KJV
Forgive God? That sounds so arrogant. Who are we to forgive God? He has done so much... we should be thankful. If favor were decided by merit then God would merit every favor. Grace says merit was never because of performance. Not mine, not yours and not God's.
Have you ever noticed that arrogant people hate forgiveness. It is only given grudgingly and at a very high price... if at all.
It is my conviction that Jesus forgave the Father when He was forsaken on the cross. Jesus knew it was not wrong that He should be crucified. It was right... even though Jesus was innocent... it was right in a higher way. It needed to be done. Still... It hurt Jesus grievously. Jesus gave the Father grace. In ultimate humility He gave grace.
We forgive when people are wrong. We forgive when people are right. We forgive. That is how we deal with hurt.
Finished work forgiveness does not magnify sin but it acknowledges the effects of sin and living in a fallen world.
"Judge not, and you shall not be judged. Condemn not, and you shall not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you." Luke 6:37-38 NKJV
Forgiving opens us up to receive forgiveness and perhaps in that moment of light God will reveal something to us about ourselves.
Performance based forgiveness makes the person doing the forgiving bigger than the one who needs forgiveness. Grace based forgiveness restores intimacy on an even playing field. Forgiveness and identification go hand in hand.
The invalid may need to forgive their caretaker. The constant care may remind them again and again that they are weak and can not care for themselves.
Parents need to forgive their children. Children need to forgive their parents. Not because they did or didn't measure up but because people need forgiveness... the fallen world is filled with hurts and pains and the only remedy is forgiveness.
Forgiveness frees us to be thankful... receiving forgiveness and giving it. We need this reciprocal intimacy in order for there to be a true relationship
The cross made forgiveness possible. It reconciled God to man and man to God. It can reconcile us to each other if we let it.
I think God is sorry for the fall. Not because He did anything wrong. He didn't. I think it pains Him that fallen man has gotten entangled in the affairs of demons and will share their fate. He loves mankind and has pity on us. He sees the end result of our collective bad decisions and all the hurt they have caused and it moved Him to act in compassion.
Because of His Son He has forgiven us.
Let's forgive God... Forgive Him that His plan is too big for us to understand. Yes, God is right and good. After we forgive Him we can walk trusting in that goodness.