Here we are at day five of Release It week. I am so glad that you have been following with us on this subject of forgiveness. It’s not easy, but more important than we know. Let’s start again with Matthew West.
Are we or are we not to follow the example of Christ? Of course we are! His Word is full of examples and teaching. Micah 7:18 says, “Who is a God like you, who pardons sin and forgives the transgression of the remnant of his inheritance? You do not stay angry forever but delight to show mercy.”
Oh yes! You read it just the same as I did. God does not stay angry, but He forgives. He delights in showing mercy. I have so far to go before I can forgive in happiness, but I can be merciful to someone. I mean who joyfully forgives someone who has wronged them, right? Well, Jesus did. Can you just imagine? Beaten, spat on, and stripped of all clothing and still those who did this to Him were forgiven by Him. I don’t know that I could, in all my human glory, do the same thing.
“In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding.” (Ephesians 1:7-8) To give it does not mean we forget it, but simply that we show mercy where mercy is not expected and grace where grace is not asked for. Mercy is forgiving someone who doesn’t deserve to be forgiven and grace is showing love or forgiveness towards someone who has done the opposite of deserving it. Here in Ephesians we get to read that Jesus has already given the ultimate sacrifice for our sins; even for those who have sinned against you and me. It’s been done. He gave his life so that we can fully forgive, mean it, and give it.
Not only does God ask us to forgive those who have mistreated us, but when we do forgive we are, in return, given blessings. Beautiful blessings. Peace. We can experience true peace when we give forgiveness.
There is no easy method for giving forgiveness; no model of how to go about it. This is a heart issue and sometimes that means that we have to go the person who offended us and tell them that we forgive their transgression. Other times it is exclusively between you and God. This is when you will need to go to Him in prayer and repent. Then a heart of true forgiveness towards the wrongdoer will need to be reached. They may never know that they were wrong or hurt you, but you have bestowed grace to them and in that forgiveness has been given.
This is the hardest part of forgiveness; actually giving it. It is not easy and it is not fun, but it is what sets you free.
Further Scriptures to read and take in: Exodus 34:9, Micah 7:18, Ephesians 1:7-8, Hebrews 8:12, Hebrews 10:18
Tomorrow is something that takes all the rest of the Release It! series and wraps it into one. Pivotal. Join us, won’t you!